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Saying "NO" graciously

29 Jan 2016   Shanti Gowans

Sometimes we have a hard time telling others "No." Unfortunately, leaving it unsaid can come at your own expense. You lose time to do the things you really want (or need) to do and you can even feel resentful towards the other person and yourself.

Telling others that you can't agree to their request doesn't have to be difficult. If you struggle with the concept, here are some ideas you can put to use immediately.

• Explain that your other commitments are taking up all your time right now. Everyone is too busy at times; the other person will understand that you have a heavy load of other responsibilities. If necessary, it might help to go into a little detail about the other things you have going on. Hopefully, this will increase their level of understanding.

• Say that you are in the middle of something and that you'll get back to them. It's not uncommon to get hit with requests for immediate help. You can let them know that you can not help right now, but that you might be able to help soon. If it really is urgent, they will find someone else and should not feel resentful towards you.

• Tell them that you will think about it. This is more of a "maybe" than an absolute "no." Avoid using this option if you really do want to say "no." Take the time you need to consider it and remember to get back to them. You can suggest your own deadline or an alternative that works for better for you if you cannot comply fully with their first request.

• If someone is trying to sell something to you, tell them that their offering does not meet your needs but you will get back to them if your needs change. This puts an end to the matter quickly without the other person feeling insulted. After all, you are rejecting their product or service; you are not rejecting them personally. 

• Tell them that so-and-so would be a better help. In this case, you are not refusing to help them. In fact, you are helping them by suggesting someone more capable of satisfying their needs. 

• Tell them that you'd like to help, but.... This lets the other party know that you would like their offer or would like to provide assistance to them, but you that you are either too busy or their offer does not meet your needs. It's similar to th first and fourth suggestion, but is more supportive and encouraging.

If you'll learn to say "no" to the things that you really do not want to do, do not have the time to do, or do not fit your needs, your life will be much richer for it. 

Like many other things in life, it gets easier with practice. After you get used to it, you'll be surprised how easy it is and how receptive others can be.

Remember to only tell the truth. One of the options suggested is bound to be true, so there is no reason to feel like you are being dishonest. When you tell people "no" and it is the Truth of how you feel, understand how much better you feel with truth.



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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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