There is no one who has ever escaped the word “No.” From our earliest years as children, we have come to dread the horrid sound of the combination of these two letters uttered in unison “No.” There are many ways to say no. There is the no-nonsense “No,” which is basically a flat-out no without an explanation to the highly contentious “NO” that always leads to a long drawn out discussion of “why not?”
And, then, there is the apologetic no, and the type of no that never really definitively comes out and spells No as in, “No way!” but merely, skirts around the issue at hand, until all the hope of turning it into a resounding YES, is thoroughly, exhausted.
I can never figure out which is worse, the actual disappointment of hearing the word “No” outright, or having to listen to the precursors that come before the word, the excuses that seal the deal, allowances such as: “it’s just that,” “here’s why,” “I am just saying,” “Perhaps some other time.” I think, that if a person is going to refuse, rebuff, reject or nix, they should be clear about it and not beat around the bush and confuse, mislead and give the wrong impression that their delivery of a NO, could every somehow magically, through the powers of the Almighty, somehow or someway, be transformed into a “Yes.”
The word no, can be spoken quietly and respectfully, or it can be shouted out as if it were a bullet being shot out of a gun. For example, growing up, especially in my pre and my teenage years, it seemed as if I could not make it through a day without having to hear one of two sarcastic phrases “because I said “No, that’s why!”Or, as my dad would say, “Exactly, what part of no, don’t you understand?
The reason why it is so hard to say no is because we have had to hear it so many times before, when it has been hurled at us, not to mention, that more times than not, it becomes an open invitation to a long and lengthily, useless debate, primarily because we have already made up our minds that the answer is an irreversible “No.” Another reason we do not like to say no is because, we just do not want to be responsible for someone else’s disappointment.
Saying no, is never easy, chances are, we will suffer some form of repercussion if we chose to reject the notion that has been brought before us to rule on, for the simple reason that “no” has the potential to hurt, unless of course, it comes as a relief. Yes, no can actually take the weight off a situation if we are already in compromising circumstances to begin with, when we hear it said to us. On such occasions the word “No” evokes the opposite feeling, it can actually, come as a release and a reprieve, in fact, liberation of sorts.
So, how do we master the art of saying no? The answer is not so hard to figure out; we sensitize ourselves by putting ourselves in the place of the person whose ideas or request we intend to turn down. We say the word “no” in a way that does the least bit of harm to the person’s ego.
And, most importantly, we ensure that there is no room for a misunderstanding that might make the individual think that there is still, some vague chance, that our decision could ever be overturned. In the end, the word no, is like and taxes, it is unavoidable!
Here is some additional information on the subject:
Relationship Advice – How to Say no Without feeling Guilty
Twenty Ways to Say No
Five Strategies that Make it Easier to Say No
Educational Film on the subject of No – A Fun 1951 film on Moral Maturity