Why saying No might be the most helpful thing you can say

Why saying No might be the most helpful thing you can say

Category: Dealing with difficult situations

Why saying No might be the most helpful thing you can say

Do you find saying No difficult?

Do you ever find yourself doing something you don’t want to do or haven’t got time to do … and you wouldn’t have to do it, if only you had said No?

Well, if you have, you aren’t alone.

A lot of people find it hard to say No.

It can be for lots of reason’s … you want to be helpful; you believe that you should always say Yes if you can, or maybe you just don’t like conflict and think No will cause you problems.


Whatever the reason, if you don’t say No then two things will happen:

    1. You’ll become overwhelmed.
    2. You’ll let someone down … either because you said you could and then find you can’t or you did and it was substandard!

I’m not suggesting that the next time a client asks for something that you refuse point blank with a terse No!

What I suggest is that you consider whether you can. Ask some questions about when it’s needed by, what is actually required and where it sits in terms of priorities for you. Only then can you make a decision.

If you think you can … then say so … but make sure if your Yes is dependent on their timings, delivery or providing information, that you clearly say this when you respond.

If you can’t then say No so they can find another solution.

Better still offer a solution if you have one. For example, if you don’t have time today but could help tomorrow say so.

Then they can decide …

    1. If it’s essential you do the work (in which case they have to wait for tomorrow) ; or
    2. If it’s urgent (in which case they will need to find someone else.)

Either option is better than having to sort out the fact their request hasn’t been fulfilled when they return, which in turn will reduce conflict and make their (and your) life easier!

So next time you start to waiver and say Yes when you mean No … remember you aren’t doing anyone a favour and No might just be the most helpful thing you can say.