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Some weeks ago, I shared an article on “saying no when you mean to say no” and today, we’d discuss the many ways you can actually say No without saying “No”. It’s true that the word No is such a hard-wired word that we most often choke on, hence, many a time the no only ends up in our heads and we proceed to doing what we actually didn’t intend doing– to please the other person or just to avoid the “No” word entirely since it’s never readily welcomed. However, instead of escaping the word, what’s of more importance is taking the right approach towards saying No as this is what determines the outcome. Here are my simple tips or if you may, tricks towards saying No that can help you not entirely escape saying no but at least make the word No much easier to be said in a different variety of ways. 

• “No I can’t…”
The best way to say No, you’d realise is to just say no! –We just can’t entirely escape the No. Saying No is not as hard as we make it seem. A direct yet polite No would save the day and ease you off any unnecessary and unplanned responsibility which you’re not sure of taking care of. Whether it’s a “No, I can’t” or “No I won’t be able to help” or “No, I don’t want to.” It’s more respectable than rather compromising or having to tell a lie. There’s every good feeling about giving a direct No sometimes because you would have challenged and positively conquered yourself from the “yes, yes, yes” habit. Saying No only becomes more important when you’ve understood that the choices you make remains top priority of which you’re in total control of and as such, you cannot please or remain always on agreeable terms with everyone.

“Learning to say no can earn you respect from yourself as well those around you.” ― Auliq Ice

• I’ll keep you informed
Keeping one informed does not exactly tell the person a yes or a no but it gives you enough time to decide for yourself if you really want to commit to the person’s request. However, before using this, I suggest that the other party should know of the possible unlikeliness of the anticipated outcome if you foresee any, otherwise you may only end up getting more stressed from the new expectations mounted on you. We can’t always have a ready answer when our time or help is needed so taking time out to think before submitting our self helps as it also gives the person a little measure of hope and content to hold up for a while without them feeling turned down or disappointed. In turn, they’d be willing to try out elsewhere too knowing that nothing has yet been promised.

“Buy yourself some time. Interrupt the ‘yes’ cycle, using phrases like “I’ll get back to you,” then consider your options.” ― Auliq Ice

• Let’s see how it goes
I’m guilty of this one as this most often is my escape route. This method for me is as good as saying no, however not everyone will interpret it as so. It’s almost like assuring someone that you’d give their request a thought but at the same time, not promising anything entirely. This would suffice in a “No situation” as it doesn’t require you going further about it in a prolonged dialogue. When I use this, it most often does not go past that conversational moment and I sometimes, most often would not give it a thought since nothing was promised, so well, let’s see how it goes! Ha.

• I’m busy right now; can I try my hands on it much later?
It most often happens that when we get too busy, requests roll in, especially ones that need your urgent attention but as much as you want to help out, you’re just that busy, and you can’t trade your engagement for the other person’s request! Well in such event, this excuse would apply as the person’s request remains pending whilst you politely offer a future assistance at a time of your own convenience rather than turning the person down completely

• I’d love to — but can’t
This is a noble way of bowing out of that new commitment that you’re not sure of as it creates an avenue to nicely and politely relay your reasons why you can’t be of help whilst encouraging them with the fact that you find their request interesting even if you can’t be a part of it. In the end, you’d have won yourself more time to focus on you, and things that are of top priority to you.

• I’m not sure I can help with this but I know someone who can
If you actually don’t have the means of helping out or really don’t have much interest in the field of such request, suggesting someone who can help is a smart way of turning down the request and moving the responsibility from you to one who the position fits. You would have helped the person not to wind up in a deadlock by showing kind interest in their affair even if you’re not the one taking responsibility for it.

In my opinion, the problem is not with saying no but in always saying yes! This is because the yes creates more work and increases stress but the no is healthier as it gives you more time to pay attention to yourself and your health. Practise saying no more often and you’d find yourself in control of your decisions. In the end, whether it’s a yes or a No, let it be just as you intended it to!–firm and assertive! Don’t compromise.

What are some of your different tricks or tips towards saying no without actually saying “No”?

“My early attempts at saying no were often far from graceful but with practice even my no came from a place of love. Love yourself enough to be able to say yes or no.” ― Susan Gregg

Written By:  ‘Nonye J. Chidolue (@NonyeWrites)

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