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About Everything Wiki » Motivation » SELECTION: The Art of saying No

SELECTION: The Art of saying No

04 May 2023, 10:17, parser
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This post was written by Nikita Galkin, one of the candidates for authorship in Lifehacker. It depends only on how much you like the material, whether he will write to our blog. You can express your gratitude by clicking one or more social sharing buttons or by writing your thoughts in the comments.

Each of us has been rejected at least once in our lives. Hearing "no" is so unpleasant that we ourselves tend to refuse less often, especially to our loved ones. As a result, extra duties at work or on weekends that you spend not at all the way you wanted. The psychology of communication says that people are often afraid to offend with their refusal. Therefore, it is important to be able to say "no" tactfully. Ideally, make it so that the requester himself refused the request.

You need to refuse on time. Agree, it will be unpleasant if you are interrupted in the middle of a sentence. Therefore, say "no" either immediately, as soon as a request looms on the horizon, or listen to all the details and let the interlocutor know that you understood his request.

Bounce options. Refusal — is a psychological impact. So calculate the force with which you apply it.

Nonverbal rejection

This is the softest way to refuse. You do not actually refuse, but make it clear to the interlocutor that you are forced to refuse. It looks like this:

– Pause
– Eye contact
– Half smile (as if you are glad that you were approached, but regret that you cannot accept the request)
– Address by name
– Pause

All this fits in 1-2 seconds. A delicate person perceives this as a refusal. If this did not help, then you can turn on the "mumble" for a while (as the Swedes often do). That is, to say something like "Nuuu", "Mmmmm", "How can I tell you...". By doing so, you show how difficult it is for you to refuse. If this did not help, then we increase the degree of failure.


This is already a stronger form than non-verbal rejection. But she also belongs to the soft. The best way to refuse is for the British. Let's remember the lessons from school:

– "I'm sorry..." (Sorry...)
– "I'm afraid ..." (I'm afraid...)
– "I have to..." (I have to...)

Then, without going into details, you explain why you actually refuse. Example: "I'm very sorry, but circumstances have developed so that I have to refuse."

Final rejection

Quite often in our culture, a soft refusal is not perceived as a "no". Therefore, sometimes it is necessary to apply a rigid form. Using not only the words of regret, but also "this is a refusal", "my answer is no", "this is my final decision", "no, period", you will be able to convey to the interlocutor a final tactful "no". Example: "I'm sorry, but I can't help you. This is the final decision."

Postpone the decision

This is the easiest way. Just do not forget to contact the requester later and inform them of your refusal. Naturally, in compliance with the above recommendations.

And in conclusion, a banal advice. If you often have to make a decision to refuse on the same issues, then formulate the principles when to say no. Here is an example diagram from Jessica Hish «Should I work for free?». By composing something like this, you will get rid of the pressure of the current moment and relieve yourself of moral responsibility for each of your «no ».

charts from Jessica Hish, should I work for free?©

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03 May 2023, 16:03    1    0
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