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How to Say No to Requests (Without Damaging Your Relationships)

https://medium.com/better-humans/how-to-say-no-to-requests-without-damaging-your-relationships-931f34599e62

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How to Say No to Requests (Without Damaging Your Relationships)
As an entrepreneur or executive, it can often feel like half your day is spent fielding endless requests for your time; and not all of them good. And that’s all by 10:00am Monday morning. The week’s…

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Saying No At The Workplace

Saying No At The Workplace

Office workers, working in real offices or doing Work From Home, face requests from fellow workers all the time which can range from unnecessary to downright avoidable. In our quest to appease others, we are struggling to reach our fullest potential.

Time, as many of us have now realized, is the most valuable and prized asset we have, and saying no to certain activities at work can enable us to do something worthy.

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Saying Yes Is Easy

Agreeing on every activity is easy and can also become our default reaction. It fills our calendars with so many tasks and we are playing a losing game thereafter, making more commitments than we can keep, and leading to unfulfilled obligations. When we are overcommitting, it is leading to us getting burned out and hurting our network in the process.

When we are asked for something, we end up reacting, rashly and impulsive, as it subtly awakens our fight-or-flight mode.

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Ignoring Is Common

Social media has made unwanted requests and their ignoring easier, training us to quietly ignore anything we don’t like, or cannot commit to, but with the security of the other person not getting any kind of rejection.

The best way to say no apparently is to say nothing at all, at least on the virtual front.

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Say No And Offer An Option

A straightforward NO can seem rude, and that’s probably why we avoid it. A better way is to provide a polite no, with an option or an alternative, to help them reach their goals.

Example: While emailed by a colleague to meet up for a project over a cup of coffee, one can say “Hey Thanks for reaching out! I like the idea but am not able to take out the time right now. I can email you the project notes I made, and you can ping me back with any questions you may have?”

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Postponing A Request

Many of the workplace commitment requests require immediate action, and one may not have the bandwidth to give to others. A polite way is to say yes, but do not commit to the time, saying that you are definitely interested, but would like to do that some other time.

Most situations solve themselves when given enough time.

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Deflecting A Request To Someone Else

If you want to help out, but for some reason are unable to, you can become a mediator and help the person in need reach out to a different person, whom you think can be a good fit for providing the solution.

Introducing someone else clears you and can be a value-adding action.

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Just Say No

Sometimes a clear No is actually a stronger option than a weak Yes. A well-focused rejection makes you a powerful person.

One can look for engagements and clean out one’s calendar, making sure that the time is only spent on valuable, productive activities that help towards your own business interests.

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Being “too nice” can cause you problems

Being “too nice” can cause you problems

You're asked to do something, and you feel you should say no. However, if you say no, you'll be resented, so you are tempted to say yes. If you say yes, you're going to be frustrated wi...

Saying NO without guilt

  • Notice how often people around you say no to each other every day. Also watch how others handle these situations.
  • When you feel pressured for a yes, ask for time. It will allow you to calm down and evaluate whether you really want to do it ( "I need to check my calendar; I'll get back to you"/ "I've got to think about that; I'll let you know.")
  • Saying no comfortably requires you to think what your values are. When you live by clear principles, it's easier to make decisions. People are more likely to respect your responses.
  • Keep telling them that you can't help them. Then stay on repeat, even if they bring new angles of reasoning.
  • When you want to help but can't commit to the specifics, make a counteroffer. You can offer someone a different resource or the name of someone else who might help.

Fear of rejection

The main reason why we are having a hard time declining other people's requests is that we are afraid to be rejected. We are afraid that people might think negatively. 

Stop Saying Yes When You Want to Say No

  • Saying No Doesn’t Mean You’re a Bad Person: Saying no doesn't mean that you are being rude, selfish, or unkind. These are all unhelpful beliefs that make it hard to say no. Learning where these beliefs have come from is a great way to learn to let go of them.
  • Knowing Your Value:  Learning to say no is realizing that you are valuable and choosing your own opinion about yourself over others.
  • Is It Really Worth It?: Learning to say no is also deciding if saying yes is really worth it. Think about the anguish, stress, and resentment that saying yes has caused you. Wouldn't it be so much easier and straightforward to just say no in the first place?

Helpful Tips for Saying No

  • Be direct.
  • Don't apologize and give all sorts of reasons.
  • Be honest.
  • Don't delay your response.
  • Be polite.
  • Practice saying no. This will get you feeling a lot more comfortable with saying no.
  • Know your worth. Don't mind what other think of you.

Our inner 'demons'

Our inner Demons, or inner voices, make us do irrational, stupid and selfish things, based out of fear.

We hide and distract ourselves from our inner voice, which is nothing but our fear and ...

Our common negative parts

Some of our common 'demons' are:

  • Procrastination
  • Laziness
  • Self-loathing
  • Comparing yourself with your peers, leading to envy
  • Loser mentality.

The downward spiral

Our inner demons lead us to negatively judge ourselves, further leading to avoiding that judgment, and eventually starting the internal self-destruction, if the negative downward spiral is left unchecked.

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