"No" Is a Complete Sentence

 

By LISA SWAN

If you go along with saying “yes” to things you don’t really want to do, you are going to need to learn to put the word “no” in your vocabulary. Not only that, but you need to remember that “No” is a complete sentence.

Does this happen to you? You get a call from the PTA, asking you to man the tables for a school fundraiser. Between work and family life, you don’t really have time to do it, but you don’t want to get grief for saying no.  Or perhaps a co-worker tries to dump his project on you, Or maybe a salesperson is trying to get you to buy her product, and you are not interested.

Consequences of not being able to say no

Here’s what happens a lot with people who don’t know how to say no. They end up hemming and hawing, and doing things that they don’t want to do. That’s because even when they do say the word “no,” they qualify it by giving reasons why not, reasons that can be overcome by somebody else.

For example, salespersons are taught to do what is called “overcoming objections.” That is their job – changing a no to a yes. So they are taught to turn around the reasons for the no, to give the person no choice but to say yes.

And salespeople aren’t the only ones who are good at overcoming objections. If somebody needs your help for something, it is in their best interest to get you to say yes, whether you really want to do it or not.

That’s why saying a “maybe” to something you don’t want to do is a bad idea, and saying “no, because…” is just a bad an idea. Because the person you are saying no to will try to get you to say yes. Here’s an example – if you say that you can’t bake cookies for the bake sale because you can’t cook, the person trying to get you to make cookies will tell you to give it a try by making slice and bake cookies.

There are bigger consequences to not being able to say an effective “no.” Your professional and personal happiness will be negatively affected, with you doing things you don’t want to and living a life that isn’t something that makes you feel good. All because you couldn’t say no to others’ demands.

How to say no effectively

Here is what you need to do when you don’t want to do something: say “No.” That’s no, period, end of story. If you want to say, “No, thank you,” that is acceptable, but don’t add anything else to the sentence.

“No” is the magic word to getting your life back. Just remember that it is a complete sentence, and act accordingly.

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