I read recently that highly successful people have mastered the art of saying “no.” Saying “no” is one thing, but saying it and realizing that “no” is enough, is powerful. As a woman that balances life and work, I don’t know why I haven’t taken a hold to this theory a long time ago.
Prior to me having the level of responsibilities that I have currently, saying no was not something that I was good at. Now, I do recall a moment when I was in college and I told a girl that she couldn’t ride in my car because she never would speak to me, but that’s different. Also, that wasn’t hard to do either, but sometimes I find it hard to say no and I think I know why myself and others find it difficult.
You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings-No one wants to hear the word “no” because when you first hear it, you tend to get in your feelings about the rejection, right? Sure, we’re all supposed to be adults, but let’s be honest when someone tells you “No, I’m sorry you did not get the job,” “No, we chose another candidate for the promotion,” or “No, I don’t want your number” (que TLC’s No Scrubs), our feelings get a little deflated and maybe for a moment we feel like an eleven year old boy being denied access to your PS4. Not only does the “no” hurt feelings, but people with hurt feelings get mad. Which brings me to my next point in why it is difficult to say no.
Hearing no can cause undesired conflict and conflict leads to isolation- Have you ever had a friend that always has some drama going on in their life? Well I bet they didn’t hear the word no enough or never learned how to properly deal with hearing the word. My eleven year-old son has this problem now that I think of it. He’s a child though, but we have some adults that will cut up just because you told them no. I mean, some will throw complete hissy fits (that’s southern for tantrums) and will stop inviting you to their events or shut you out of their lives. Their loss, not yours.
I suggest that we learn to say no and mean it. Oh, and whenever you say “no”, just know, that you don’t owe anyone an explanation. The ladies from one of my favorite podcasts, Recovering Party Girls, had an Instagram/Facebook post about this very thing. They said that, “No is a complete sentence and does n’t need any further explanation, but for some reason when people say “no” it’s followed by an explanation.” Stop it! “No” is enough.
Here’s a list of things to say no to:
- Boys-ladies, we know the signs, the red flags are there from the beginning. Notice i said boys and not men. Boys are still trying to waste your time, probably will ruin your life, play games like ghosting you, or keeping you in a situationship not committing. Run, sis, run.
- Toxic family members and/or friends-we all have them, we all know of them. Say no to them and rid yourself of them. Yes, family too.
- Opportunities that aren’t positive, uplifting, or in line with your personal goals and values-listen, in order to level up, sometimes you have to say “no” to some trips that all of your friends are going on, or some events that supposedly “everyone” is going to. If the opportunity was meant for you, you’ll never miss it.