No matter how wonderful you are sometimes other people will try to take advantage of your good nature. They will push you, get you to do more than your fair share, and keep asking you to do even more.
And worst of all — often your efforts will be taken for granted. Unless you can say no, the situation will not change in fact it may get even more difficult.
That is unless you can say No to these unreasonable people because very often to win respect from people you have to sometimes say No.
Here are 4 great ways to stand up for yourself and say No:
1. Soften the No
Instead of shouting No at the person and creating an uncomfortable encounter you can instead soften the No by postponing your help.
For example —
No, I am busy right now, but I can help you in 40 minutes time
No, I have other things to do at the moment
Right now I do not have a free moment maybe later on
I would love to help but not at this minute, try John
What you are doing is softening the No by saying not now rather than an outright No. This is a lot easier to do especially when dealing with people who intimidate you.
To deal with people who want your help but are slow to help you — negotiate! When they want something from you, you have the power – use it!
Say you are happy to help on one condition — that they help you immediately when you seek their help. They will usually agree because they have to! If they say No, again as above, postpone helping them if you can.
There are some people who view the world in terms of what is in it for them and the concerns of others are of secondary importance. With these people, you are wasting your time talking about your needs.
For that reason, you have to link your needs to their gains by negotiating – tell them they will get what they want IF you get what you want.
3. Say No When You Do Not Care About the Outcome
When you are flexing this newfound ability to say No for the first time use every opportunity to get some practice e.g.
In a restaurant, say no to the first table you are offered
at home say No to coffee when everyone else says Yes, have tea
In a store say yes to an offer of help but No to the product
What I mean is to say No when you are dealing with people whose approval is not that important to you. You will quickly learn through experience that it is not the end of the world if you say no and the other person is not pleased with you.
4. Say No to the Big Request and Yes to a Smaller One
Sometimes you are going to be asked to do more than your fair share. If you cannot avoid the job you may need to consider doing part of it.
A good way to handle these requests is to offer to do part of the job but not all of it. For example:
I will clean 2 rooms if you do the other 3 rooms
I can do 5 pages of the report as long as you give me the data
If you start the project I will finish it
By standing up for yourself on small points you will gradually assert yourself more often on the big issues. The main thing is to get started today on winning back control of your interactions with anyone who pushes you too far.