In order to get a better career and succeed more in life you have to get along with people and to do that you must have good manners. However, sometimes people have vague understanding of what good manners stand for and misinterpret them into sacrificing your own needs for the needs of others. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for many people struggling with the word ‘no’. It is indeed, much easier to replace it with a ‘maybe’, however, you might be giving wrong ideas for people you are talking to and promising something they are never going to get. So, how do you say ‘no’ without hurting anyone’s feelings and without feeling guilty about that?
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The first step in realizing that you have to say ‘no’ is to understand that you cannot be saying ‘yes’ all the time. It is only in the movies that when a person is a ‘yes-man’ he get really successful and gets the best girl. The reality is that when you keep on agreeing to everything you are asked of at any time you might end up being a push over taking care of everyone else but you.
The next step is to realize that you are saying ‘no’ not because you are selfish. The main reason why people are avoiding this word is because of a guilt feeling.
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You cannot be helping everybody all the time. This does not mean that you should from now on be saying ‘no’ to any request. You, as a well-mannered person, will still be helping your family, friends or even co-workers, just not as often as you are asked to. When you are denying any request – think of what your reasons are. You are doing that to do the things you want to do for yourself, for your family or just to have some time off and have a time for yourself.
You should also consider why it is hard for you to say ‘no’ to this person. If you think that the person will stop treating you nicely when you say ‘no’ – then maybe there is something wrong in the relationship.
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There are several things some people use to get someone into saying ‘yes’:
- Bullying. These people will say that you have to do something in a very aggressive and unfair way. The best way to deal with them is to keep calm and ignore the threats.
- Wining. When the person contacts you with the request complaining about how hard his life is, and how unfair everyone is to him until you break and offer your help. Instead of doing that consider changing the topic, and sympathize but avoid offering to help.
- Blaming. Someone might start accusing you of ‘never’ being around to help and even offering to take over some responsibilities. The best reaction would be numbering the times you have helped that person and denying the request.
- Flattery. This is the trickiest way to get you to do something as the one flattering you will be telling you all the sweet things about how talented you are and how smart you are in doing this or that. However, stay alert – you know what they are up to. In order not to hurt feelings but to stay firm in your position you must follow this steps:
- When saying ‘no’ your voice has to be calm and steady. The faster and louder you are talking the less likely you will be taken seriously.
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- Use your body language to support your statement. If your body says – ‘I am calm and confident in my ‘no’, the person will more likely understand you.
- Do not apologize too much. Saying ‘sorry’ once is enough for any refusal.
- Support your ‘no’ with an explanation on why you cannot do what you are asked of. Do not lie or imagine excuses, sometimes saying ‘I have other personal plans’ might be enough.
- If you are still too uncomfortable saying ‘no’ you can suggest some other options. If there is a way you can help – suggest it and maybe it will work.