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The Art of Not Saying No

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The Art Of Not Saying No – Motivational & Thought Provoking Writing

I asked the shop keeper for a cake of Hamam soap and he smartly uttered the names Rexona, Margo, etc that are available. When I insisted for my favorite brand he was quoting a few more names there by hinting that Hamam was not available. He won’t say a NO for the brand I demanded. The superstition of avoiding NO is prevalent in our country and it is considered inauspicious to utter in the negative.

Sign boards like NO SMOKING, NO PARKING, NO LOITERING HERE, NO VACANCY, NO TRESPASSING, NO CHILDREN, NO THOROUGH FARE, NO SLIPPERS, NO CELL PHONE, NO ADMISSION irks our feelings even when we do not have the intention of violating the rules.

It hurts our ego and pride when we are forced to follow certain disciplines by others. Just to deter a few unruly elements we are to bear the brunt of getting dictated by other people. Such warnings or cautions are also a reflection of the culture of people of that land. But with all such threatening warnings like “will be prosecuted” you could still find a few who are not following the rules either due to ignorance or for the wanton act of rowdyism. Even in a city like Chennai we can frequently notice such warnings as “yeh! Pig/donkey! Don’t make nuisance here.” But just to retaliate this aggressive warning there are a few who would do exactly that act that was prohibited.

There is a very clever and practical way of these reckless nuisance creators by just putting granite stone and adore it with garland and agarbathi. Even in the dead of night nobody dare pollute that spot. This way of attaching the sign of NO provokes and hurts the sentiments of a few though microscopically.

Nowadays some imaginative groups have come forward with the captions like, THANK YOU FOR AVOIDING SMOKING, PLEASE PARK YOUR VEHICLE AT SUCH AND SUCH AREA, BE SEATED IN THE CHAIRS, VACANCIES ARE AVAILBLE AFTER 6 MONTHS, PLEASE ENTER THROUGH THE PUBLIC ROAD, AVOID CHILDREN and so on.

Many times we comment on the opinion of friends/colleagues as “you are wrong”. These three words are having scary effect on them. The comment is assertive and it may be equated to telling them they are inferior. It is better to tell them that they may be wrong giving them the benefit of doubt. We may also try to convince them that some thing is right. Many times we are confronted with individuals like friends/neighbors/relatives for requests, favors which we may or may not be able to concede. There are a good number of people, so good it is very difficult for them to say NO and on very many occasions accept the request more by habit than by their ability to help. Invariably they land into serious trouble for not able to oblige their promise there by ruining the valuable relationship. Also in very many cases with no mind to sacrifice the friendliness go out of the way there by hurting themselves in terms of money, comfort, time or sacrificing the relationship with somebody else.

One of the most difficult hurdles to overcome is in assessing whether the other person’s request to you is reasonable. You need to assert your right to ask for more information and clarification. Do not commit yourself to a “yes” or “no” until you know fully and understand what is being asked. Once you decide that you do not want to do or buy something say a “no” firmly but calmly.

It is crucial that you give a simple NO rather than a long winded statement filled with excuses, justifications and rationalizations about why you are saying NO. It is enough that you do not want to do it simply because you do not want to do it. You can accompany your refusal with a simple straight forward explanation of what you are feeling. A direct explanation is assertive while many indirect and misleading excuses are not assertive and can get you in to a lot of trouble because it leaves you open for a debate. Any average individual is having the inclination to please people, regarded as agreeable, helpful, likeable, and dependable and all these are natural desires. But in that process never get entangled in to a trap as your and family’s interests should always be in the back ground every time and all the time.

WE MAY NOT BE AWARE OF THE KEY TO SUCCESS. BUT THE KEY TO FAILURE IS TRYING TO PLEASE EVERY BODY!

Contributed By: J. PANCHAPAGESAN is a Chennai based DSP(RETD). jpanchapagesan@yahoo.co.in

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