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No

December 5, 2016 — Leave a comment

Definition of No (merriam-websters.com)

  1. Used as a function word to express the negative of an alternative choice or possibility
  2. In no respect or degree —used in comparisons
  3. Not so —used to express negation, dissent, denial, or refusal
  4. Used with a following adjective to imply a meaning expressed by the opposite positive statement
We generally are pretty good at saying no to our kids, especially if it looks like they’re going to hurt themselves. But why is it so hard to say no to your friend, your boss or even your spouse?

No can be a harsh word, and we generally use it in response to someone asking us to do something or when we express disagreement. But not being able to say no impacts our productivity, our personal time, our finances, and our relationships? If I tell a friend no, I can’t help them this weekend, what I’m saying is yes to spending time with relatives or saying yes to learning something new or maybe just relaxing.

Saying no is important to keep relationships healthy, to keep our job, and to keep within budget, I can’t think of how many times I should’ve said no to someone wanting me to buy something. I’m just a sucker, or think that if I say no, then I’m not a nice person.

Saying no doesn’t make you a mean person, it makes you a responsible person. If you say yes to everything, you say yes to other people’s agendas and no to your own. Where does that get you, not far, but it sure helps others out, and that’s not a bad thing. I’m not saying to say no to everything, just too wisely decide what you want to spend your time, money and other resources on.

My problem is that some people don’t even need to ask and I say yes to help them out. Or worse yet if they complain about something I think I need to fix it, even if I don’t see what’s wrong. This causes confusion and dependence. People learn to expect that you’ll give them what they want, because they know you don’t say no. It’s time to break the yes habit and implement the word NO into your vocabulary more often.

So how do you say no more? First you need to know what your purpose is, what your mission is, or what your organization’s mission is. Once you know your purpose and/or mission you can evaluate the request as to whether it matches up with your goals.

Most people know what their goals are in the job they do, and it’s important to limit your yeses at work so you can accomplish those goals, even if it’s a request from the boss.

As we get into the New Year, and if you have, or are going to set goals, make a list of all of your current obligations. Which ones align with your goals? Which ones, when you read them you say, “Hell Yes,” if you can’t say hell yes then say no. Of course you may make some people upset because you canceled appointments, resigned from committees, or just said NO. The positive side is that you’ll be able to say yes to the important things in life, you’re able to reconnect with people, volunteer for organizations your passionate about, and take control of your life better.

With the end of 2016 coming quick, what do you need to say no to in 2017 in order to say yes to what will make your life better in 2017?

Ah the power of “No.” Who would believe that two letters could hold so much power. Whether used to empower ourselves, or to disempower others, its use comes with great responsibility. But it’s not only it’s use that we must be careful of, but how we hear it.

Though it is important to know when to say it, knowing how to take “No” is just as important. If you’re like Mr. James Cameron, and don’t take “No” for an answer, it may be because when you hear that rejection you hear opportunity knocking.

Hearing someone tell you “No” forces you to become a better salesman in what you are trying to seek approval for in the first place. Which would explain how Mr. Cameron has become one of the most successful directors in Hollywood who has not only produced over 30 movies, but has also directed over, 20 movies that have all contributed to a lifetime gross total of $1,974,307,733.

“No” should not be meant to inhibit action, no matter how harsh the context or how crude the source. It is simply a challenge that our English language has incorporated into our rhetoric. There are many other words and phrases that can have negative connotations, but it is a great skill to acquire to know how to take rejection in any form, and just press on.

By: David Joseph Leingang