Month: January 2016

Can you say NO?

Can you say NO?


It is said that, ‘Your success is determined by what you say NO to rather than what you say YES to.’ NO does not come easily to some people-‘nice people’ because they consider it bad.  There will always be demands to your limited time, energy and money; learn to say NO. It simply acknowledges that you are human and limited.

It is only by saying NO that you can concentrate on things that are really important Steve Jobs

Saying YES to one thing means saying NO to another.A YES to things that derails you makes you both unhappy and unproductive.

Saying NO can disappoint, anger or hurt people, but a YES to things that you cannot do hurts both yourself and others. A YES-YES person is a people pleaser who is afraid to stand their ground.


Far worse than a YES person is a YES/NO person. This portrays you as a weak indecisive person with no strong choices. I often find it better to get a sincere NO than to have an insincere YES.

Saying NO needs not be difficult or strain relationships. Here are simple and polite ways to say NO this year;

#1.Refuse with a YES: This makes the other person feel that you care for them but are not able to help them. E.g. Yes, I would love to but…

#2.Explain your NO: this helps them clearly understand your reason for refusing. It saves you similar future requests. Do not give a false explanation or over explain yourself. E.g. No, I cannot help you because…

#3.Give an alternative to your NO: this makes them feel that you are willing to help given a compromise. Make sure you are comfortable with it. E.g. No, but I might be able to do that if you could wait till…

#4.Give a flat NO: this is most helpful when dealing with a manipulative person because they will always try to get round your explanations. If something compromises your values, say a flat NO.

No is a complete sentence.

#5. Will get back to you later: this makes the person feel that you are willing to consider their request. Consider and get back to them as soon as possible to avoid inconveniencing them.

Always make an informed choice. Saying NO to extra responsibilities at work could cost you; make sure you are polite and professional about it.  Once you learn to say NO, you will discover that it liberates you more to say YES.