Tag Archives: how to say no

saying YES to NO ~ a sequel

2 Sep

“I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.”
– Billy Joel

I am not a negative person but many a times saying NO can be theee most positive thing. I have learned it from past experiences ~ a lesson learned the hard way. If you have had difficulties saying NO, you’re not alone. BUT for people used to saying “NO” easily, this post may not “go down” that easily.

As far as I am concerned, I still have difficulties saying “NO” partly because I’m worried how the recipient may feel. Rejection is a scary thing, not only to receive but to give as well.

trying to…

Let us first understand WHEN to say NO:

Obviously when you don’t want to say YES [sick!! I know]

Sometimes we say “Yes” despite wanting to say “NO” because we think we can protect the one we love by saying “Yes” we are protecting our loved one from feeling hurt or offended. It’s a good thing to say “Yes” to Mom’s cookies when you’re full and it’s perfectly all right to nibble on them until you can thank her for the spare tire around your belly area, in the years to come. This is more like “Honesty is NOT ALWAYS the best policy”.

BUT when the person who’s going to get hurt is YOU, that’s when it’s time to say “NO”.

Now HOW to say NO:

Once you learn when it’s time to say NO, you must know how to say it. I’ve always known when to say NO, it’s easy to identify when to say NO but it’s difficult to pin down on HOW to say it. Because let’s face it, you may earn a “selfish” label or a “self-centred” label once you start using NO. The best way is to make excuse. Let’s try it.

http://www.wikihow.com/Say-No-Respectfully

Pretty good advice, I am working on Points 2, 4, 5 and 7.

If you aren’t strong enough [read: if you are as weak as the blogger here], you can practice putting up a blank expression or a frown to say NO. Also, you can pretend not to hear and walk away before the speaker repeats himself/ herself. Just get up and get away from the environment that’s forcing you to say NO, it obviously isn’t a good environment to linger around.

WHAT to do after saying NO:

If your heart thumps like mine after I say NO, well.. personally I think it’s pathetic. But heart’s a heart’s a heart ~ one’s gotta be nice to one’s heart. So let it thump and come back to its normal beat. Once you say NO, don’t regret it. Your NO may not always be right but we all learn through trials and errors. I’ve lost few so-called pals over the years because they couldn’t see me beyond my NO. I wonder if it’s a big loss, though.

Also note that when you say no, it might attract some “labels”. Don’t worry about them. As long as you’re comfortable with your NO, there’s no need to worry about whatever names it may bring you. If people give you names for your NO, ask yourself “Is it worth having them around?” As simple as that.

…errr well… I guess that’s how you can find the “balance”…

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saying YES to NO

1 Sep

Children learn the word “NO” before they learn its counter-word “Yes” obviously because No is easier to utter [technically]. I couldn’t have been an exception so I too must have started my language development with a “No”. Little would I have known how completely things were about to change.

I, especially, remember a girl [who I thought was a friend, then] who lived off me. It all began while we were walking to our school one day. I was carrying this new denim bag [which was really cool, then] and she had this proper school-bag school bag. She complimented me on my bag and I did the same. Then she suggested we change our school bags. After that, if I had anything that looked better than hers, we swapped. Many a times when she got compliments for my things, I almost always wished she would acknowledge that they were mine. Who was I fooling?

“Give me your pen…”

ME: …but it’s a gift from my dad…

“How can you say NO to your friend?”

ME: [oh no, I’ve offended her] Sorry, here. Take it. Keep it. I’ll tell my parents I’ve lost it.

Even as I typed the conversation above, a flood of emotions overwhelmed me. Why was I like that? What made me hate myself so much? How did I turn up so pathetic? Who is (was) responsible for the way I behaved then? Where did the child [who learned to say NO first] disappear? When did saying “no” become a vice?

My attempt at finding the answers:

  1. No is a negative word and thus should not be uttered unless it’s for a bad thing. For instance; say NO to drugs. Never do they say “Say NO to giving your pen to a friend.”
  2. I wanted to fit in so badly that I was scared if I said NO, people will stop liking me. Besides, I wanted the others to say nice things about me.
  3. I weighed my NO to the recipient of my NO. Isn’t having a friend always better than having a nice pair of shoes?
  4. I thought offending others was a bigger crime than hurting oneself. “I” didn’t matter.
  5. My parents always taught me to be selfless.

Not everything is permanent in life and so I grew up [lesser on the length and more on the width] wondering what it’ll be like to say NO someday. And one day, just like that, began my journey into know-no-land, maybe because I knew the grass would be greener on the other side.

 “Get me some water, please”.

ME: No… Please get it yourself.

“…why can’t you get it for me? I’ve asked you so nicely…”

ME: Because I am learning to say NO when I mean NO and you have to take my NO for an answer.

All voices: What a Bee Eye Tea see etch :O

ME sulking inside, long face outside. Heart thumping inside, sweating outside.

I really thought I’d faint there and then, but I didn’t. At the end of my first NO, I lost a [so-called] friend but not before she lectured me on how horribly awful it was to say NO to a thirsty friend. Maybe she wasn’t a friend after all and by losing her I gained a little confidence. I had, after all, uttered NO and I didn’t choke on my words, my eyes didn’t pop out of their socket, neither did I vomit blood and nor did I drop dead… I survived… a miracle!!!

I still hesitate to say a straight no-nonsense NO. As a result, sometime conversation as below ensues –>

“Do you have a cigarette?”

ME: Remember… I asked you if you had one last night.

“Yeah, I also REMEMBER I had offered you one.”

ME: That’s my point. If I had asked you for a cigarette LAST night, what makes you think I would miraculously have one THIS very MORNING?

“You could have just said NO”.

ME: oooops :$

Well, I have reached my know-no-land and not without still having difficulties navigating, at times. I can now say ‘NO’ [effortlessly sometimes] BUT I’ve earned myself a title “Selfish” – say whaaaaaaaa?

…to be continued [maybe]

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