It’s a short word; easy to spell, even easier to pronounce.
Try saying with me, will you? No. NO. Throw in a little qualifier if you dare: No WAY!
Simple? Sure, when your children are asking for freezies for breakfast. Throw another adult or God forbid an employer into the mix and look out. That little word suddenly attracts a great big mess of anxiety and stress. It’s not the word itself. It’s tiny and kinda simple looking. It’s the possible consequences of using it.
When we’re faced with something we just don’t want to do, a whole whack of situations begin a little one act play in our head and we decide not to bother uttering anything at all.
What if they think I’m not capable?
What if I get fired?
What if they think I’m mad?
What if they get mad?
What if the bad karma comes back to bite me in the ass?
The list goes on and on. Before we know it, we’re on a first name basis with the night cleaners at the office and are hosting a book club party for twelve people we hardly know.
Now, of course, there are situations where saying no is not your best option. When confronted with the police, for example, your best bet is to stay away from that word. Otherwise, it is 100% okay to say no if you want to. In fact, saying yes when you need to say no has a word of it’s own: it’s called burnout.
I stumbled upon Belinda Munoz’s article on this very subject. She gives you more than fifty ways to say no. Everything from Matter-of-Fact No to Considerate and Gentle No to even Fatal Attraction/Restraining Order No.
You’ll find it here.
Good luck with the Big No.
Now, can I borrow five bucks?