Saying no can be hard. People might think differently of us if we say no to things - they might not ask us again in the future, or like us less, or not help us out when we really need it.
But the fact is that we can’t always say yes to everything
, no matter how it might make the other person feel. So how do you say no in a way that doesn’t result in that feeling of guilt washing over us?
The main thing to remember is that you need to stay true to yourself. When you’re screaming “no” in your head but saying “yes” with your words, the guilt that you feel will be caused by letting yourself down
- not the other person.
The trick is to be clear in your own head about your boundaries
. For example, if you’re being asked for free advice from an acquaintance, you could respond by letting them know where to find your business hours, consultation fees and what sort of questions to prepare for the appointment. This lets the other person know that you don’t give free advice and that you don’t work outside of your office hours - and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Saying no effectively is a big part of being assertive and is something that we need to practice on a regular basis
. That’s not to say you need to say no to every opportunity - a lot can be gained by saying yes - but the idea is to stop saying yes when what you mean is a polite “no”.
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