Sunday, 2 January 2011

The power of "NO"

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” ~Tony Blair


Most of us including me feel really guilty about saying 'No' when we actually mean to say it. Instead we say 'no' which can be altered to a 'yes' by merely being compelled by the other person. And if the person who is compelling us is the assertive type we usually end up saying 'yes' every time and then we feel as though we have been used, exploited or manipulated by others.

Well recently a small incident happened that made me think about the effect of saying a simple but firm 'No'.
The story goes like this....  
I have been trying to keep a check on my food consumption between Christmas and New Year because I know that the gap between these days (a week) would determine how much I gain in a short span of time. For this I had to keep a check on what I put in my mouth especially during work. Then suddenly one of my colleagues offered me half a chicken sandwich (the size was small) and I was really tempted to take it....My moment of weakness was soon transformed when she said "please help me....I am on a diet so can you have half of this".....I said "no thanks". What made me say no is the fact that she was on a diet and wanted to load me with something that she didn't want in the 1st place. Do I look like someone who would just eat the leftover? I was on a diet myself so I just won't take it....simple as that.

After this "no" incident I kind of felt good about myself 'cause usually I can't say no to anything...and people who know me well know this trait in me I guess....They usually come up with "please...can you..." and I say "ok...I will..." when I really want to say "no....sorry I can't help you....". Even when it come to doing extra work or work that someone else need to do I kind of like helping out if I am asked to. Even as a couple we are quite the "yes" type....we both just can't say "no" to a friendly request made by our neighbor. And if we do say no we end up feeling a bit guilty later. I usually blame my husband if he agrees to do something for someone when he really doesn't want to but I am equally bad (or maybe even worse than him) when it come to saying the two letter word.

What I have noticed is that if you want to be the 'nice' person and fall into that category we usually say yes to requests people make.....after a while the requests become frequent and more annoying. Frequent because they know you will do it and annoying because it take a lot of effort from your part to fulfill this request as its something you really don't feel like doing. Then you just don't understand why people are using you when you are not using them.....Lets face the facts here....people are usually like this so its not their fault (its human nature) and if you really don't want to do something just don't do it. Don't think of how they would feel if you say no or what they will think. They won't think anything because they will find another solution (you are definitely not their only hope).   

Check this article out its really interesting and hope this helps you to say "no" the next time you want to: "Power of saying NO" .


  1. It is quite inspiring to read. Lazy people always hopes for the help from outside. Usually they dont even think that whether they can do it and always passive. We should be active and dont bother others by doing our part, but as you said we need to say NO if we did not interest to do that by means of our self-respect. We need to upgrade our emotional courage to say that powerful word NO strongly in terms of self-defense, self-confidence and leadership quality.

  2. This article was realy useful for me :).Thank you so much for wrinig on this topic.It made me realize that saying no,is not a mistake and doing something for someone half heartedly is equal to nt doing it for them.

  3. Its not easy to say "no" but I guess we all have to really practice it if we don't want people to use us for their benefits.


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