Friday, February 14, 2020

The Art of Saying ‘NO’

We are living in a superficial world today wherein we are expected to be available at work, reply to emails, revert to text messages, attend incoming calls from clients and colleagues and at the same time cater to our personal life as well where saying ‘NO’ can be a big deal breaker when it comes to maintaining peace and harmony at home. At least at work we are paid to do so. Having said that today I would want to bring forth this topic of “The Art of Saying NO” in front of myself and my audience here on this blog not just to share my view points about this fact but also to discuss this in a wide forum if what I am thinking is the right thing or not.

To be very honest, I have been more of a ‘NO’ person than ‘YES’ all my life. Earlier it used to work to my disadvantage but today it works like a charm. I have realized that a single ‘NO’ can open doors to more possibilities that I wish to do rather than saying ‘YES’ to things I rather not do. I have understood that how important it is to say ‘NO’ to ensure you are yourself and not the way others want you to be. Many of us relate the word ‘NO’ to negativity, however more than negativity it’s more about the fear of rejection or denial that you are thinking of when you say ‘NO’ rather than a ‘YES’. As I have grown up I have realized how important it is to say ‘NO’ to find space and time for the people and the things that really matter to me in my life.

If you have ever said a ‘NO’, you must have realized that it takes more time, energy and emotions to say ‘NO’ than saying a ‘YES’. Saying a big fat ‘NO’ is more to do about WHY, WHEN & WHERE you say this word as discussed below :

• WHY: It’s important we understand ‘WHY’ we are saying a ‘NO’. Reasons can vary but the ultimate reason ‘WHY’ you are saying a ‘NO’ could be something personal that you do not wish to share with someone else. Maybe you wish to spend the evening with your spouse. Maybe you do not have the skill set and do not wish to embarrass yourself on taking the project you cannot handle. Maybe you want to have some ‘ME’ time for yourself. There could be a hundred reasons, just make sure you know the reason and more than that ensure it’s for the good of you and for the good of the others as well.

WHEN: The timing of any decision taken by anyone plays a major role in our lives. Bad timings equals to bad decisions which results in dissatisfaction for a ‘YES’ you said when you should have said a ‘NO’. What if your boss asks you to stay back after work, but you have a doctor’s appointment? What if your family gets a wedding invitation but you have an important presentation on that day at work. It’s important to say that you won’t be able to make it rather than give a false commitment which will eventually affect your relationship with that person. Whether the person in front of you understands your situation or not it’s up to them. Do not take the burden upon yourself.

WHERE: The place where you are about to say a ‘NO’ can have a huge impact on you as well as the person expecting a ‘YES’ from you. Say for instance your boyfriend surprises you with a proposal at a restaurant. What would you do if you are not ready? What if your boss surprisingly announces your name for training abroad for a few months in an annual event but you have personal commitments. What would you do? In such situations we need to ensure that we are not taken aback and give a ‘YES SMILE’ for a future ‘NO’. I am not asking anyone to lie; it’s more about giving back a surprise for a surprise, just at a later time of the day. After all you were caught in the middle isn’t it? You can also reason out your fears and change the course of things in future.

We also need to understand that as we say ‘NO’ to a variety of things in life, we also refrain ourselves from experiencing certain things in life. We need to be ‘OK’ with it and not regret our decisions in future. Both a ‘YES’ & a ‘NO’ have different possibilities in life. Not every ‘YES’ is going to make us a happy person and not any ‘NO’ is going to make us feel miserable. We need to be ready for it. However, just ensure that we grow as a person no matter what the word says.

As human beings and responsible citizens of this country, we also need to make sure that we create an environment of not regretting and taking people for granted. Many of us are afraid of agreeing to things considering the repercussions of saying a ‘YES’. Even if it’s going to take time for the whole country to change as a whole, we need to ensure we create small groups with positive environments where the possibility of saying a ‘NO’ disappears forever and we no more have to disappoint anyone in our inner circle.

Do share your views and opinions on this topic as I am a learner myself and would love to know your thoughts and opinions as well. We all should practice the freedom of speech and share our view point’s so that it not only helps us but also helps others.