Saying ‘No’ Without Feeling Like a Jerk

A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”  Mahatma Gandhi

Saying ‘No’ without feeling like a jerk or acting as if a jerk is an important skill.

You can’t say “Yes” to everything.  You will end up with things that you do not want.  You will end doing things that you do not want to do.  You will waste your money.  You will waste your time.

If you are representing a company, you have to be able to say “No” to help your company.  You have to be able to say “No” to workers who ask you to do work that are not your job.  You have to say “No” to invitations that are not good for you or your company.  If you are a buyer, you have to say “No” to vendors who want to pressure you.

For many people, saying “No” is difficult.

They do not want to hurt people’s feelings.

They do not want to haggle.  They do not want the pressure for them to say “Yes.”

They do not want to sound like a jerk.

They do not want to feel like a jerk.

However, saying ‘No’ is important.  Saying “No” is just part of a healthy life.  It is okay to say ‘No;’ developing some simple ways to say ‘No’ may help.

“No, thank you”
“I’ll pass.”
“  I do not want any.”
“  I appreciate your offer, but my answer is, ‘No.'”
“Not for me.”

If you find yourself under pressure to say “yes,” just stop responding to the person applying the pressure.  I was negotiating buying a car one day.  I could see that the sales rep and his manager were just going to continue to pressure me to accept their offer.

I said that I needed to take a break.  I went home.  The sales rep called me later and told me that the car dealer had a policy that buyers could not leave until the negotiation was final.  I said then the deal was final.  My answer was “No.”

Telling someone “No” has emotional impact on both sides.  Saying “No” is not always easy.  Hearing “No” is sometimes unpleasant.

However, for your career and your personal life, you must say “No” to things that are not in your best interest.

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