It really doesn’t matter what you call them, but we all have compulsions, habits, lusts, drives, desires or attractions that make us feel like we have no choice but to do them. Like Joseph we are caught daily in the web of event that demands our opinion on-the-spot, there are huge benefits to us in enhancing our capacity and comfort with “no” when need be. Consider the following;
- Our ability and capacity to say “no” with confidence is one of the most important aspects of creating peace and power in our lives. This is about creating healthy boundaries, honoring ourselves, and being real — it’s not about being closed, cynical, or unwilling. When we’re someone that says “yes” when we mean it and “no” when we mean it — others know they can count on us to be real, tell the truth, and come through.
- Saying “no” with honesty and kindness is also helps to control stress, struggle, or conflict, in our lives and relationship. When we don’t say “no” in an authentic way we end up feeling burdened, resentful, and even victimized (although, ironically, we forget that we are the ones who said “yes” in the first place).
- And, when we “no” with confidence, honesty, and compassion, we do one of the best things we can possibly do to honor and appreciate ourselves.
There are basically three forms of NO, the unassertive, the aggressive, and the assertive. The unassertive “No” is accompanied by weak excuses and rationalizations. If you lack confidence when you say “No” you may think that you need to support your “No” with lots of reasons to convince the other person that you mean it. You might even make up an excuse to support your “No.” This can backfire if the lie is exposed. The aggressive “No” is done with disapproval. “Are you kidding? Me, stand in for you while you’re out of town?” Sometimes the aggressive “No” comes as an attack on the person making the request. “You must be crazy. I couldn’t take on that irrelevant project.” The assertive “No” is simple and direct. “No, I won’t be able to help with that.” If you would like to offer an explanation, make it short and simple. “No, I won’t be able to help with that. I’ve made other commitments for Saturday”
While the unassertive “No” is not sensible, an aggressive “No” could be an option when assertive “No” isn’t working. But it important we discuss effective strategies that make the assertive “No” easier and effectual. Firstly, when someone makes a request, it is always ok to ask for time to think it over. In thinking it over, remind yourself that the decision is entirely up to you. Secondly, Use your nonverbal assertiveness to underline the “No.” Make sure that your voice is firm and direct. Look into the person’s eyes as you say, “No.” Shake your head “No,” as you say, “No”. Thirdly, if you say, “Yes,” when you want to say, “No,” you will feel resentful throughout whatever you agreed to do. This costs you energy and discomfort and is not necessary if you just say, “No” when you need to. Fourthly, if you are saying, “No,” to someone whom you would help under different circumstances, use an empathic response to ease the rejection. For example, to your friend who needs you to keep her child while she goes to the doctor, you might say, “No, Susie, I can’t keep Billie for you. I know it must be hard for you to find someone at that time of day, but I have already made lunch plans and I won’t be able to help you. Lastly, start your sentence with the word, “No.” It’s easier to keep the commitment to say, “No,” if it’s the first word out of your mouth.
Remember that “No,” is an honorable response; if you decide that “No” is the answer that you prefer to give, then it is authentic and honest for you to say, “No. Let’s look at some daily practical ways you can practice saying, “No,” so that it comes more naturally to you, when you need it the most. Say “No”
To the television who disturbs your reading;
To the “…TAKE 1 FREE” adverts on the department store;
To your friends who carelessly ask for your time;
To one extra hour of sleeping;
To the marketer who wants you to try on the shirts;
To a caller who wants to puts you on hold;
To a company of unruly friends;
To sensual touch and gestures
Make it a project to say, “No” to something every day and when you do, notice it and give yourself credit for practicing saying such an important two letter word.
By Oluwatade T. Faith Author of Youth@Xploit
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