5 Effective Ways to Say “NO” to Your Boss and Coworkers

5 Effective Ways to Say “NO” to Your Boss and Coworkers

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It is very difficult for most people to say "no", and there are several reasons why. One of the top reasons is that we live in a time where we are used to having it our way. Gluten free? You got it! No bun? For sure! Next day delivery? On the way!

Our expectations have become so distorted that it’s gotten to the point where if someone disagrees with us or our proposition, we are in complete shock. We have tantrums like we did when we were two and can’t accept the fact that sometimes, life doesn’t work like that.

For this reason, it may seem easier for you to just say “yes” and agree to most of things that you are confronted with, but you should never feel obligated to do anything that makes you uncomfortable or unhappy.

Here are 5 ways for you to effectively decline any unwanted solicitations in the workplace.

1.) I am unable to participate in that activity at the moment, but thank you for thinking of me.

2.) This isn't really something that I'm up for right now, but you should definitely talk to so-and-so.

3.) Let them know you aren’t comfortable with the situation. For example, if someone asks to borrow your scarf and you aren’t comfortable lending it to them—you can say something like, “I’m not comfortable with lending people things like that, sorry.”

4.) Sometimes a direct "No" is good enough. It’s okay to be selfish and put your needs before others once in a while, with no apology.

5.) In the case of your manager, point out how heavy your workload currently is and let them know that you don’t want the quality of your existing projects to suffer. Whether it works out in your favor or not, I guarantee that you will feel better for at least giving it a try.

A number of people, who are considered successful today, attribute much of their success to saying "no". Think about it-if you're that person who says "yes" all the time, eventually you will get taken advantage of and barely have time to do those things that matter most to you.

Henry Cloud, who wrote an entire book on how to say "no" once said, “Our opinions and thoughts mean very little if there is nothing we disagree with.” Saying "no" is a part of life, and an extremely important part at that! Have boundaries and stick to them. Once you master this powerful ability, your quality of life and the work that you produce will reward you for it.

What other ways have you found to avoid being in any unwanted situations at work?

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