How to Navigate the ‘NO’.

This is something all of us need to learn, (especially me apparently).

Whether it is wanting to help people or a fear of missing out, the result of saying yes to everything is usually complete with catastrophic burn out.

No can be a positive word.

It can be a difficult balance to turn down requests without hurting feelings or damaging relationships so here are 5 ways to navigate the ‘no’.

1. Have a favourite phrase ready.
A practised phrase can help when you are put on the spot or want to quickly close down a request.“ Thank you so much for thinking of me but I’m sure I have already agreed to something that day – sorry.” or if you need time to think “ can I check my diary and come back to you?” This either closes down the request straight away or will give you time to ‘check your diary’ having thought about it.

2. Use your words cleverly.
This is subtle but important. Saying ‘I’m sorry but we don’t rather than no” implies your refusal is a well though out and consistent point of view rather than a personal rebuttal.

3.Use the clever – Yes – No – Yes theory.
Negotiation experts recommend sandwiching a No between two positives to give a positive impression.
Yes, I would love to have the kids over but no, I won’t be able to have them all afternoon but if it helps, yes, I could have them for an hour? or
Yes, I am happy to drive you to I but can’t do that time, I can pick you up an hour earlier if that helps?
And one to manage teenagers  –  Yes you can go but no, not until midnight, how about I pick you up at 10 instead?

4. Never Lie
Be evasive but never untruthful otherwise you will have something to feel guilty about and may have to keep on lying. Instead be vague but truthful – I’m sorry we are busy that weekend can be true – you are already out twice, they don’t need to know that you are actually free that evening.

5. Don’t Waffle
Be brief, be succinct, be sincere. Short yet polite answers offer less opportunity for your friend to re-work the request. No, I’m so sorry we can’t is much better than explaining in great detail what you have to do instead.

Less rope – no tying yourself in knots.