The Art of Saying No

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So you just finished your shift at work. You’re excited to head home and curl yourself on the sofa with a good book together with a foggy weather. Yes! What a perfect moment! Then someone comes along asking you to have a girl’s night out, since it’s a Friday afternoon so it’s perfectly fine. You really want to decline her offer and just go home to get back to reading. But all of a sudden you find yourself in a crowded place with lots of annoying people making unpleasant noises.

Now, you’re silently regretting that you actually accepted her offer. How many of you have encountered these kinds of situation? It doesn’t have to be exactly what I’ve mentioned but in other situations, though. I’m sure you’ve encountered this too, in your business life and most especially, your personal life. I know. It’s not easy to say no. It’s hard; you don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. I get you, because I know.

You see, being an adult, we’ve got a lot of things on our plate. We need to attend to client meetings, finish our homework for the next day’s deadline, help a coworker, etc.

We do all these things without even assessing if the ones that we’re actually doing are aligned with our goals. It seems like ‘yes’ is our default answer to everything. But if you come to think about it; all these things are requests! Even if you think it’s not, if you look closely, most of the time it’s a request hiding behind polite words.

Now that you know that these are all just requests; you’ve got to be wise enough as to where you would give your ‘yes.’ I equate your yes to your energy.

Your yes = Your energy.

You don’t want to just give your precious energy to anyone else, do you? So for this article, we will give you seven reasons why it’s perfectly okay to say no.

Master the art of saying no, now. Protect your energy from now on.


1. It mitigates your workload.

Saying ‘no’ to that colleague who’s asking for your help can be frightening especially if you genuinely want to help. But you’ve got to keep in mind that you have your own tasks as well, and your own deadlines to meet. Saying ‘no’ early on would help you focus on your core tasks, and it allows you to tell it upfront that you’re not available at the moment. It’s a win-win situation for the both of you, as he or she would know right away because you told him or her frankly.  


2. It exercises your ability to say no.

Saying ‘no’ to someone especially if it’s someone you personally know can be really daunting. Of course, you don’t want to hurt their feelings. So you submit yourself to say ‘yes’ all the time.

Stop this madness!

Okay, I admit. I once was like that. But I realized that it’s not healthy, both for me, and for the one who I’m giving my ‘yes’ to. So I decided to practice saying ‘no.’ I did it for the first time, I did it the second time, and again, and another until it became natural for me, I didn’t even need to feel guilty anymore whenever I don’t fancy someone’s offer or request.

Keep this in mind: You don’t have to give anyone an explanation for your answers (whether it’s a yes or a no). You can just simply say no, then that’s it.

But wait! Hold your horses! I don’t want you to get caught up with all the exciting benefits of this and you do it in a bad manner. Say, you work for a company; then your boss told you to do all the tasks that has been given to you. You can’t just say ‘no’ to that.

That is why it’s a case to case basis.

But say there are people asking for freebies from your business. Then yes! That’s the time that you can apply the statement written above.

Always keep that in mind, but always apply it on the right situation. Go on now!

The saying says, “Practice makes perfect.”

I say, “Practice makes one better because perfection is an absolute myth.”


3. It helps save time.

For example, you’re applying for a job. You’ve already did the initial interview, attended the second interview, hearing the good news that you’re already accepted, you’re just waiting for the contract and then you can start right away.

In the middle of the waiting period, you decided that you don’t want to pursue your application no more because you had received a better offer from another company.

Trust me when I say that you’re better-off declining that offer early-on instead of letting the days pass without informing the client that you suddenly had a change of mind.

You see, recruiters devote their all just to get you a job offer. It’s not professional to say that you’re going to pursue your application but at the back of your mind; it’s a no go for you. Just say no. It’ll save the recruiter’s time and your time as well. Go on now!


4. Your YES would be much sweeter.

Thinking that no one’s going to respect you or they’d get mad at you whenever you say ‘no’ to them is not really the case. Well, it is though, for small-minded people.

Saying ‘no’ to people exudes that you respect yourself enough that you don’t commit to other people’s request that easily. Instead of thinking that negative mindset, the actual result’s quite the contrary. They’ll respect you more, and they’ll look forward to your YESES.

The next time you say ‘yes’, it’ll be much sweeter because they know that you don’t give your YESES to anyone that comes your way.


5. It allows you to stay true to yourself.

Authenticity for one’s self is the highest form of value, at least from my perspective. Saying ‘no’ exudes the energy that you know what you want for yourself. Saying ‘no’ doesn’t have to be related to work at all times. It also relates to our relationship with other people.

Do you know why a lot of people stay in toxic relationships? Try to listen to the radio; you will hear all these terrible circumstances that are happening in their life. It’s because they know the right thing to do, but they still choose to stay. They’re not being true to themselves because they’re not saying ‘no’ to that relationship.

Don’t be like them. If you know deep down that you’re not being happy anymore in any kind of situation. Just leave and say ‘no’ to it.


6. It teaches people to be independent.

Say you’re in a situation where your classmate is asking you a favor to let him or her copy your homework. This is a bad manner to practice. If you give consent to his or her request, it would teach that person that it’s okay to copy someone’s home work.

Don’t feel bad for saying ‘no’. Why? Because if you do say ‘yes’ all the time, they would fully depend on you, they’re not going to do their own work. They won’t know hard work. They won’t know what responsibility is. You’re actually hindering their growth.

If you say ‘no’, it would teach that person to do it on her or his own.


7. It means saying YES to the ones that matter.

For example, you signed a contract with Penguin Books promising them that you would finish writing a book for a span of one and a half year because that would be the second book of your book series.

Of course, being the famous author that you are, it’s inevitable that you get loads of other offers from other publishing companies.

So imagine being contacted by Phoenix Publishing offering you a one year contract to write a technical book for high school students.

What a good situation to be in!

But you see, writing is really hard especially if you don’t love it; if you say ‘yes’ to both opportunities. Believe me you won’t finish writing either of those books.

You’ll end up not finishing anything and no money for you because why would they even give you money if you haven’t finished writing any of it?

It makes total sense, right?

So brush up that skill of yours to say NO firmly and do it with pride!



So there you have it folks! These are the marvelous benefits that your life would enjoy if you just practice this skill often. Yes, I call it a skill now, because not everyone can do it without feeling guilty about it.

If there’s one statement I want you to take away from this article, it’s this:

Saying ‘NO’ at times doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. You just know your priorities and you’re setting the right expectations – Hernard Honcolada, CEO of CollarFinder.


Time is precious.

Saying NO is okay.

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