now, how often do you find yourself faced with a situation where you know you should say no, and you may even want to, but you don't because of what others may think? for many of us, such situations happen all too often. so how do we deal with them? how do we keep from acting against our better judgment?
the difficulty often lies in our not wanting others to think badly of us, so we find it hard to say no. yet, if we refuse to say no, we can end up getting in trouble or hurting ourselves or others. we could even end up breaking the law of god.
if you find yourself taken advantage of because you can't bring yourself to utter a polite but firm no, consider some of the excuses you've probably heard:
• "i'll have to think about that."
• "i'll have to check my diary."
• "i'll get back to you."
situations like these often place us in compromising positions with our beliefs and standards, family rules or desires. but it is possible to come up with reasonable and friendly ways of saying no. the next time you're faced with the dilemma of knowing you should say no, consider some of the following.
knowing when to say no to someone is less about you not wanting to do something than you getting stuck with something that is much more time consuming than the person asking your help let on. i used to have a real problem with this. since i can catch-up things fast, i often been asked for a hand to get something done instantly. but truly indeed i was so shocked when someone told me that the particular person was damn mad at me when i didn't turn up one day. walaweiii... you can imagine how that went over. i needed to find a way to politely say no or at least filter the things through before committing to them. here is how i have learned to do this:
a friend of yours call you and asks, "what are you doing this weekend?" instead of telling the truth about not having anything major going on, tell them you have a lot of work to do around your house and that you weren't sure what else was going on. then simply ask, "how about you." this is where most people drop the ball. "i'm working on this project and i really want to get it done this weekend. think you can give me a hand for a bit?" before you say anything, use the next step.
TAKE 10 TO 20 SECONDS TO THINK ABOUT YOUR RESPONSE. if you must, make a few hum and um noises to let them know you are still on the line. what you need to do in this time is plan your response. if you are good friends, chances are you really do want to help, but if your time is limited, use this response: "i might be able to, but i want to see what you have going on because i can't commit to an all day project." you just let them know you my be able to help, but for a limited time. this gives you the opportunity to see what they need for yourself. or just ask them how long they need your help for. if you can help that long and it fits into your schedule, you can do it. if you can't, say no.
it is hard when people do the old, "come on, man... your are the last person i called. i was really hoping you could help me out. look i'll help and it won't take that long." first of all, this is only true if both of you are tackling different parts of a project because most of the time they are calling you because they do not know how to do it themselves. recognize this and simply say, "if i had time i would, but i just don't have time right now." this is true in many cases and if they still don't get it, you have to cut off what they are saying and just say, "NO!"
i help a lot of people with their things and usually know enough to show them what they need to do and get out of there. what you have to remember is that you are doing them a favor. a favor is free and should not be taken advantage of. if one of your friends gets mad if you don't help them, they are simply lazy and trying to avoid their portion of responsibility for their things. be strong but kind and pause before answering any question and think about your answer. you will save yourself some time and grief ☮