The difficulty of saying no - SunStar

The difficulty of saying no

Illustration-saying-noNOBODY wants “no” for an answer. Rejection is hard to accept, but it’s just as difficult to reject someone.

But why is it difficult to say that one-syllable word in the first place? Most of us don’t want to be viewed negatively, as we have a tendency to please others. We feel good if others think good of us. We don’t want others to think we are harsh, cruel or selfish. As a result, we end up not refusing anyone.

Another reason we can’t say know is that we don’t want to hurt others. Rejection hurts. Hurting someone becomes guilt for you to bear. Instead of saying no, you’d rather keep mum and give in than reject someone.

Then there’s that fear of getting what you deserve. “Do not do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you” and “You reap what you sow” are just a few sayings that resonate. Who wants to reap the consequences of their bad choices? You fear that the no you uttered will come back to haunt you.

Yet there are instances when it becomes difficult to say no because it goes against what you really feel. As much as you want to follow your instincts and say yes, circumstances or reasons, valid or not, prompt you to say otherwise. It’s hard to say what you don’t mean and to do what you don’t want to. It is sheer agony. — (Jicel Reve S. Gabriel)

Saying no graciously

Nothing can be more awkward than saying no to a sincere offer. Greg McKeown, author of “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” says there’s a way to say no graciously.

“Saying no is like any other skill: it can be improved through practice. Start practicing with a relatively trivial request, like a lunch invitation you have received in email, McKeown says in an article published on Linkedin.com. “Over time build up until saying no becomes easy. It may be the most useful skill you ever develop.”

McKeown offers three steps on how to deal with every request you want to say no to graciously:

Step 1: Affirm the relationship. e.g. “It really is good to hear from you.”

Step 2: Thank the person sincerely for the opportunity. e.g. “Thank you ever so much for thinking of me! It sounds like such a brilliant project. I am complimented that you thought of me.”

Step 3: Decline firmly and politely. e.g.For several reasons I need to pass on this at the moment. — (Freon L. Ollival)

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