It happens that during each day we are constantly asked for help – people ask for our things, time, energy, attention, praise, agreement or advice. And each of us asks about the same of others. It happens at college, at work, at home, and even on the street with complete strangers. Appeals with requests usually take us by surprise, so it is rather difficult to make a decision as to whether to comply with them or not. At the same time, when agreeing, we do what seems right at this particular moment, without hesitation, no matter whether or not this corresponds to "yes" in our own plans.
This paper is a real must-read for everyone who can’t find appropriate words to say “no” to relatives, friends, colleagues, and strangers because of various reasons.
Why it is Difficult
The most common reason why it may seem difficult to refuse someone’s suggestion or request is a desire to be a good person and appeal to everyone. When replying “no”, we are afraid that people will change their attitude towards us and think of us as rude and selfish personalities. It’s more convenient and simple to become a “yes man” for people to feel comfortable with you.
No matter how unpleasant it is to admit, it is a matter of a low self-esteem. The less we value ourselves, the more often we say yes, consciously or unconsciously trying to please others. Understand that you will not be nice to everyone and a few refusals to help a couple of times does not mean becoming a self-centered egoist. It's just that everyone has limits of opportunities, temporary restraints, and one’s own problems.
We feel a fear of possible negative consequences of a refusal and a guilt feeling: “What if I’m the last hope and nobody except me will help?” Feeling guilty is one of the most unpleasant emotional experiences and everyone tries to do one’s best to avoid it.
We appreciate someone’s profit higher than our efforts and time. That’s the point. “Actually, it’s not difficult for me to write or even pay for an essay for my friend-groupmate as it’s important for him to receive “A” in Literature!” and “It’s not a problem for me to spend half a day searching for some useful literature and prepare a few Philosophy papers for my groupmate to pass Philosophy.” Thinking like that you simply show disrespect to your own time and plans and treat someone’s time and plans with exaggerated attention.
What for to Be Able to Refuse
When you agree to do somebody a favor, it inevitably presupposes the feeling of anger and irritation. Are you sure the requestor really desires to get such a reaction from your side? Most probably, one would prefer to cope with the case oneself or ask someone else for help. The impossibility to say “no” leads to the feeling of despair and hopelessness while allowing oneself to refuse makes you feel more confident and free.
It is necessary to say "no" if your consent deprives you of inner harmony, causes anxiety, makes you put other people's interests above yours. In fact, your "yes" forces you to give up something essential right now in exchange for ghostly values that are not yet a fact, that will be granted to you.
To understand how important it is to be able to say "no" to unreasonable requests, it is enough to conduct a simple experiment: to put someone in your place. Analyze your attitude towards a reliable person, and you will find that in your eyes his behavior will not add any respect to such a person, and a reasonable refusal will not offend. Others will perceive you in the same way.
You will be able to respect yourself more, which means that others will also respect you more. Perhaps, the refusal will not cause much sympathy, but most likely, if people constantly made attempts to break your borders, you did not particularly like them before. However, this is not very important. After all, when you know how to say "no", you will show them the limits of what is allowed and you will be able, at least, to feel respect on their part.
Art of Refusing
If you are fully aware that modesty and trouble-free life negatively affects your life, you have firmly decided to change something and be prepared for difficulties. The solution to this problem, like any other that has a psychological context, is invariably connected with practice. Here are some tips to help you learn how to say "no."
Train confident intonation – a failure must necessarily sound confident. It will not hurt to begin to rehearse before the mirror in what way you will say "no" to relatives. In your refusal there should be no aggression, on the contrary, try not to offend the interlocutor but to explain to him the reason for the refusal. Be sure to smile, thank for trust but firmly refuse. Remember that to say "no" is necessary without excuses and lies.
Learn to realize that you do not owe anything to anyone, which means you can, as an argument, tell the truth in your eyes – you do not have time to spare or you just do not want to do a favor, etc. Practice – first start to refuse people in small things. Firstly, you will clearly see that there will be no negative reaction, and secondly, you will gain the necessary experience.
Always treat yourself with respect and understanding. That doesn’t mean making constant refusals. You shall permit yourself to help others when you have such an opportunity: wish, energy, time, money or any other resource. Keep in mind that saying “no” doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate a person anymore. That also doesn’t mean you’re a selfish and insensible person. That means you value your own time and efforts.
Principles of a Right Reaction
First of all, one shall carefully listen to the request. You can ask a few clarifying questions: how, what, where, when and why. If you need some time to think over, it's not clear how to react, or it's hard to say "no" right now, take a break. Just say: "I'm not ready to give feedback to you right now"; "I need to check my schedule first"; "I need to think a bit, I'll let you know later." During this time, you can gather your thoughts and give yourself a hint for a convenient answer.
Offer a compromise: fulfill the request at a time convenient for both sides. Advise a person who can help in this situation. It happens that the most important thing for a person is to find someone who may help and it does not matter who will deliver that homework: you or an essay writing service. You can execute a part of the request; you do not have to manage all of it. Understand what kind of difficulties arises and teach a person to solve the problem on their own.
By the way, "no" can be said in different ways. Quietly, carefully, timidly, apologetically. Squeezing one’s shoulders, closing one’s hands, having no idea where to put one’s eyes. That is an indecisive "no". As an alternative, “no” may sound with pressure, clearly, unequivocally, with no objectionable tone. Take a strong confident posture: straight back, relaxed shoulders, a raised chin, and open arms. At the same time, look carefully and friendly into the eyes of the interlocutor.