Wisdom//

9 Things You Need To Know About Being Told No

Embrace these tips on saying and hearing no to honor yourself and your relationships.

Towfiqu Photography / Getty Images
Towfiqu Photography / Getty Images

When’s the last time someone told you no? How did you respond?

We all get a lot of requests. And if you’re anything like me, you love to be helpful because you’re a giver. Perhaps you even get anxious at the thought of turning someone down. Or when you do, you’re left feeling guilty.

I’ve come to realize that you can’t say yes to everything. If you did, you’d not only run out of time to advance your primary projects, but you’d also water down the impact of your ‘yes’.

Because of this, I decided to find ways to say no, and do so gracefully. However, you can control only your own actions and intentions, not someone else’s response. It became brutally clear from other people’s reactions when they received my “no” replies that they “didn’t get the memo”.

Allow me to share a segment from a note I received recently after I said no:

“For someone who runs a networking group, you’re obviously not too keen on networking. I’ll be leaving your group now…which leads me to wonder what you’re even doing here. Best of luck.”

Now allow me to share some context. This was in response to her reaching out to me, having never met me, asking me to do her a large favor. I replied as graciously as I knew how to and said no, which triggered this reply.

Initially in that moment, I regretted having replied in the first place, as it would have been easier to sweep it under the rug and ignore it. But I wanted to give her the respect of replying.

Then I realized that we so often avoid telling people ‘no’ (need I remind you of the ‘ghosting’ culture in dating) that it can feel jarring when we do hear it.

Here are a few keys to take away from this:

  1. Any time you ask a question, it’s important to respect that the person on the other end is entitled to answer as they please.
  2. ‘No’ is a complete sentence. And, the word ‘no’ needn’t be spoken directly to get your point across.
  3. Respect someone’s priorities and boundaries of her time. If they don’t happen to be aligned with yours, sincerely wish her well.
  4. Look at the long game. Everything in life is about relationships. Don’t burn a bridge because something doesn’t line up immediately.
  5. A ‘no’ for now isn’t necessarily a ‘no’ forever.
  6. Continue to build a giver-focused, value-additive relationship, especially after someone turns you down. It reminds him that you took no hard feelings to his ‘no’, as well as demonstrates that you seek more from the relationship than a transaction.
  7. Per number 6, have no hard feelings.
  8. Saying ‘no’ reduces stress and leads to a happier life, so start saying ‘no’ yourself. Don’t believe me? Check out what this Mayo Clinic study has to say.
  9. When you do say ‘no’, say it in a way that you’d be comfortable receiving it. Kindness goes a long way.

Click here to access a masterclass with Deepak Chopra and me on creating a more meaningful life. It comes with a guided meditation!

This article was originally published on Forbes.

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Wisdom//

9 Things You Need To Know About Being Told No

by Darrah Brustein
Community//

5 Burnout-Busting Ideas For Entrepreneurs Determined To Succeed

by Carolin Rathbun
Community//

Saying No Well

by Morra Aarons-Mele

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.