Learn To Say No

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Learn how to refuse requests that people make and still maintain the close ties you have with them.

Even though you are bone-weary tired, you agree to help whenever someone asks for your assistance. You’re afraid that if you say no, people will say horrible things about you and be nasty. It does not have to be this way. There are ways to learn to say no and still keep your friends and family close.

For a start, when you’re unsure if you can do something being asked of you, your initial response should be this: “I need some time to think about this. I’ll get back to you.” Then, answer the following questions to formulate a suitable reply:

Is it fair for this person to ask you to do this?

Would you ever ask this person to do the same thing?

What other options are there in this situation?

Is there a way to solve this problem without imposing on you?

Saying No to Him

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Many women complain that they’re afraid to say no to sex as their partners will look for someone else or, worse, abuse them emotionally and physically. There is no guarantee that your partner will accept what you say when you decline to have sex with him. However, one of the first things you must remember is that you are a person in your own right. You have the right to say no to sex at any time. Perhaps, there are ways of saying it so that the blow is softened.

To facilitate a more harmonious relationship, keep two points in mind: stick to the facts, and give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Make him understand that it is just as difficult for you to turn down his request. Then, remind him that every great relationship has an element of both give and take. A good example is to go up to your partner, put your arms around him and say, “Darling, you know I love you dearly, but I’m afraid that I have to decline. Maybe we could do something together later?”

Saying No to Friends

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Imagine the following scenario: a friend comes up to you and says, “I’ve seen some of those great photos you took. We’d be so happy if you would agree to be the photographer at our wedding reception.” You are not a professional photographer, and she’s referring to the photographs taken on your last holiday. Reluctantly, you agree to take your friend’s wedding photographs. You do your best, but when the photographs are printed, you can hear your friend’s horrified gasp and know that she regrets asking for your help in the first place. You’re miserable and pray that your friendship with her has not been adversely affected.

Sometimes, praising someone and then asking them to do something is a subtle way of manipulating them. The best way to react to such a situation is to be clear about what your friends can and can’t do. For instance, when you start a new business, make it clear that your friends will not be given things for free; they will be offered a discount, but they will have to fork out some money for your products or services. When your friends try to borrow things from you, always remember that you have a right to put your own needs first. A simple, “I’m sorry, but I cannot lend this bag to you,” said often enough, will make sure that people get used to the fact that you and your possessions are not always available to them.

Saying No at Work

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In these economically challenging times, you are reluctant to do anything wrong in case you lose your job. Therefore, you accept extra work given to you in the hope that your boss will recognize your contribution to the company. In time, however, you find that you’re doing nothing else – you don’t see your family anymore, and you’re exhausted all the time.

When you’re asked to complete a task that you know you cannot do, it’s important to be polite to your boss, but assertive. You can say something like, “I know this task is urgent, but, unfortunately, I cannot stay back tonight and do it. Perhaps, we can look at it first thing tomorrow morning.” If your boss insists that you do the work anyway, ask for assistance, and delegate tasks so that the work is evenly spread out.

As explained above, saying no does not have to be tedious. Do not agree to do something, and, thereafter, suffer in silence – this is a problem that can fester and cause irreparable damage to your relationship with others. Follow the suggestions made above to help you say no and still maintain a cordial relationship with your friends and family.

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