How to Say No to a Request

Published by BusinessLift Staff on

Growing up, most people are taught to say yes when asked to do things and that it may open you up to opportunities. However, few people are taught the value of saying no.

The ability to say no is one of our most underused rights. It is a very invaluable skill that every successful person must learn to cultivate. Saying no is a right. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means that you know what you want and will take steps to get it.

Being able to say ‘no’ makes your ‘yes’ even more valuable. Saying No is sometimes confused for a state of negativity. On the contrary, Psychology today states that No that is an affirmation of self implicitly acknowledges personal responsibility. It says that while each of us interacts with others, and loves, respects, and values those relationships, we do not and cannot allow ourselves always to be influenced by them. No says, “This is who I am; this is what I value, this is how I choose to act.”

Being able to say no tests the health and equity of your closest relationships. The inability to do so sometimes may be a sign of being controlled.

While it is important to say no to others, we must also learn to say no to ourselves. This is the strength to turn down the tendency for self-destructive patterns, habits or urges. 

One benefit of saying no is that you are able to build better boundaries. People tend to come to you with more meaningful requests, rather than just anything. You, in turn, have more time to harness your energy into more meaningful tasks and projects.

Also, you will have a better sense of self-worth. Most people pleasers find that while they are constantly trying to make everyone happy, they are themselves unhappy. Let’s face it, you can’t make everyone happy. You also tend to be more confident  when you’ve harnessed your right to say no.

You can achieve a better work/life balance. If you’re not constantly jumping at every opportunity or accepting every request asked of you.

While you shouldn’t turn down every request or opportunity, it is important to know when to say no. A few guiding questions to ask include:

  • Does it fit into my life plan?
  • Does it go against my personal values and principles?
  • Does it serve as a means of exploitation by others?

If you find it difficult to say no to others, don’t worry you’re not alone. Start from saying no to smaller tasks first before pulling out the big guns.

Remember, Wisdom is knowing when to say No.


BusinessLift Staff

Business Lift is Nigeria's best business news website. We also specialize on helping people make money online in Nigeria.

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