It is an art to say no. on the one hand, we have to reject the others the way that doesn’t upset others. And on the other hand, we may accept everything and don’t refuse because we are shy or we suffer a lack of self-confidence. We may think our negative answer may hurt others’ feelings.
There are three kinds of people:
1- people who have learned the etiquette from their parents, the environment, etc. they are not our audience in this article.
2- People who don’t attend to this matter and it’s annoying to communicate with them. They are not our audience too because these kinds of people probably have other dilemmas to attend to instead of checking out our website.
3- Some other people are polite and know the etiquette. They only lose control when they see strangers or when they are angry.
So when we say etiquette, we mean this situation. We need to learn how to say no the way that it won’t be offensive to the other party and doesn’t ruin our personality.
Read: “how to boost self-confidence?“
Why it’s hard to say no?
We have learned to say yes to everyone and everything since we were children to attract others’ attention, and it’s offensive to refuse their suggestion!
For example, our aunt asked us to do something for her, and when we said no, she said: I don’t love you anymore!
Of course, she didn’t mean that, but it made us feel less self-confident.
The first condition to say no: have a right frame
No matter how much we talk about saying no, we can’t do it until we attend proper frameworks.
When and how to disagree with others depends on our frames. For example, my frameworks are:
For example, my friend is with me. his wife calls me and asks: “is he with you?”
My friend wants me to say no.
I don’t want to lie, and this offer is not aside with my ethical frameworks. So I can say no.
The first step to say no
We have to tell our positive opinion first. For example, “thank you for your suggestion.”
then we can refuse their offer.
I usually say: “thank you for your suggestion, but I can’t do it.”
Say thank you, then a positive idea. And the word “no.” I am sure it’ll work.
Another way is to tell the reason. For example, someone calls you and says: can I speak with you?
You can say: I am sorry, but I am eating lunch. Will you call me in fifteen minutes?
What is the difference between being a buzzkill or being assertive?
Remember that it’s not good to say no all the time. You can be a disgusting person by your negative answers.
For example, when you are with a group of friends, and they want to eat pizza for dinner, you seem a buzzkill to refuse that and suggest kebab.
It doesn’t prove how good you are at saying no when you always disagree with your friends.
Sadly, I had a friend who smoked, and he had the habit of offering it to me. He believed his friends have to be smokers too. And I hate smoking. I said no to him many times. I said: “everyone has a different taste, you like it, and I don’t, so I can’t do it.”
but he insisted many times.
I suggest you use an assertive no when you confront these situations. Let the others know your limits.
You can tell that person:
No. I know you like smoking, but I don’t. I strongly suggest you don’t ask me again, or it’ll ruin our relationship.
You have to be very artistic and skillful to know if you want to say an assertive no to this person or not.
I wish this article helps you determine your limits and taught you the ways to say no.