May 22, 2017
Very successful people say no to almost everything.
I think I have told you before that I have often suffered from an inability to say no to requests from others. My failure to do so often resulted in my failing to do a task and even worse, disappointing others depending on me. It is really difficult when eleven people only ask for ten percent of your time and there are not ten percent extra hours in your day.
I have learned that saying yes can be a disservice to someone who expects you to fulfill your promises when it is difficult if not impossible for you to do so. Lately my health often keeps me from keeping commitments so I am saying no to requests that require me to be somewhere at a specific time. I realize I am doing no one a favor by saying yes.
Some time ago I was sent a copy Dr. Linda D Tillman’s article entitled The Power of Saying, “No” that offered suggestions on saying no instead of a reluctant yes. Here is an excerpt from her article.
The aggressive “No”
is done with contempt. “Are you kidding? Me, get your mail while you’re out of town?”
Sometimes the aggressive “No” includes an attack on the person making the request. “You must be crazy. I couldn’t take on a project that unimportant.”
The assertive “No”
is simple and direct. “No, I won’t be able to help with that.” If you would like to offer an explanation, make it short and simple. “No, I won’t be able to help with that. I’ve already made a commitment for Friday afternoon.”
Strategies to make the assertive “No” easier
- When someone makes a request, it is always OK to *ASK FOR TIME TO THINK IT OVER*. In thinking it over, remind yourself that the decision is entirely up to you.
- Use your nonverbal assertiveness to underline the “No.” Make sure that your voice is firm and direct. Look into the person’s eyes as you say, “No.” Shake your head “No,” as you say, “No.”
- Remember that “No,” is an honorable response. If you decide that “No,” is the answer that you prefer to give, then it is authentic and honest for you to say, “No.”
- If you say, “Yes,” when you want to say, “No,” you will feel resentful throughout whatever you agreed to do. This costs you energy and discomfort and is not necessary if you just say, “No” when you need to.
- If you are saying, “No,” to someone whom you would help under different circumstances, use an empathic response to ease the rejection. For example, to your friend who needs you to keep her child while she goes to the doctor, you might say, “No, Susie, I can’t keep Billie for you. I know it must be hard for you to find someone at that time of day, but I have already made lunch plans and I won’t be able to help you.
- Start your sentence with the word, “No.” It’s easier to keep the commitment to say, “No,” if it’s the first word out of your mouth.
“Be prepared to say “no” to some things. That is the key. When you say “yes” to every invitation, event and call, you will come back to meet you plans on the paper in the same state you left them.”
Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requited love?
Have you ever run into someone who was gruntled, ruly or peccable?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm clock goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.
A foolish husband remarks to his wife: “Honey, you stick to the washin’, ironin’, cookin’, and scrubbin’. No wife of mine is gonna work.
She said: After shopping at a busy store, another woman and I happened to leave at the same time, only to be faced with the daunting task of finding our cars in the crowded parking lot. Just then my car horn beeped, and I was able to locate my vehicle easily.
Wow,” the woman said. “I sure could use a gadget like that to help me find my car.”
“Actually,” I replied, “that’s my husband.”
Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza …
Margaret was royally peeved! She was arguing with the druggist because her favorite cure-all could not be bought without a prescription. “Look, lady. You can’t have this without a prescription because it’s a habit-forming drug.”
“IT IS NOT!!!!” Screamed Margaret! “I ought to know: I’ve been taking it regularly for seventeen years!”
Make God laugh, “Tell him your plans”
“Johnny,” said his teacher, “if coal is selling at $6 a ton and you pay your dealer $24, how many tons will he bring you?”
“A little over three tons, ma’am,” said Johnny promptly.
“Why, Johnny, that isn’t right,” said the teacher.
“No, ma’am, I know it ain’t,” said Johnny, “but they all do it.”
“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”
Bernie says to his wife Sarah, “Let’s go out tonight, darling and have some fun.”
Sarah replies, “OK, but if you get home before I do, please leave the light in the hall on.”
Our policy is to always blame the computer.
The young woman looked up from her hospital bed at the handsome doctor and said breathlessly, “They tell me, doctor, that you’re a real lady killer.” The doctor smiled, “Maybe so. But the jury threw the case out of court due to lack of evidence”
Mom, I’ll always love you, but I’ll never forgive you for cleaning my face with spit on a hanky.
A small social club was trying to organize a baseball team. They could only muster eight players, but finally found a ninth to play. In desperation, they called on a new member, an Englishman, to join their team. During their first game, the Englishman came to bat. On the first pitch, he knocked the ball out of the park. “Run!” his teammates cried. “For God’s sake, run!” The Brit turned and stared at them icily. “I jolly well shan’t run,” he replied. “Why should I? I’m perfectly willing to buy you chaps another ball.”
The answer is, of course, to simplify, to prioritize, and in some cases, to use a well-known phrase, “Just say no!” But actually doing it may prove to be one of the real challenges in our complicated, overheated lives.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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