Learning How and When To Say No

Learning How and When To Say No

Why Say No

  1. People will respect you.People who say yes to everything in an attempt to be liked are quickly recognized as pushovers. When you say no to someone you are letting them know that you have boundaries. You are showing that you respect yourself–and that is how you gain respect from others.
  2. People will actually see you as more dependable. When you say yes only when you have the time and true ability to do a great job, then you’ll gain a reputation for being dependable. If you say yes to everything, you’re bound to do a bad job at everything.
  3. When you’re selective with your tasks, you’ll sharpen your natural strengths. Ifyou concentrate on the things you’re good at, you’ll be able to improve on your natural talents. For example, if you’re a great writer but you’re not so great as an artist, you may volunteer to write speeches but you shouldn’t sign up to make the posters for your club. Concentrate on your strength and build your skills (and your experience) for college.
  4. Your life will be less stressful.You may be tempted to say yes to people in order to please them. In the long run, you’re only hurting yourself and others when you do this. You stress yourself out by overloading yourself, and you experience increased stress when you realize you’re bound to let them down.

When to Say No

It is OK to say no when somebody is asking you to step outside your true responsibilities and outside your comfort zone to take on a task that is dangerous or one that will overload you and affect your academic work and your reputation.

For example:

  • If a teacher suggests that you become the president of a club that he or she is advising, but your schedule is already over-packed.
  • If a popular athlete asks you to help with his/her homework and you don’t have time.
  • If anybody asks you to do their homework for them.

It can be very difficult to say no to somebody whom you really respect, but you’ll find that you actually gain respect from them when you show enough courage to say no.

How to Say No

We say yes to people because it’s easy. Learning to say no is like learning anything: it seems really scary at first, but it’s so rewarding when you get the hang of it!

The trick to saying no is doing it firmly without sounding rude. Here are some lines you can practice:

  • If a teacher asks you to take on more responsibility than you need: Thank you for thinking of me, but I will have to say no. I’m just over-scheduled at this time.
  • If somebody wants you to cheat: Sorry, I don’t share my homework. That would get us both in trouble.
  • If somebody tries to push work off on you: I just don’t have the time to do a good job at that right now.
  • If somebody tries to overload you with a task: I can’t do that because I have an assignment due tomorrow.
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