If you’re just as stubborn as we are, hearing just two little letters can really affect our day. Yep, having someone say “No” to you is something we all hate, and we all know how awful it feels to have someone decline your request for help. Because of this, we have now become a culture of saying “Yes” to everyone – even if we don’t mean it. By saying yes, we avoid the chances of hurting their feelings or making them feel worse. Yet, we often make ourselves feel neglected in the process. If you’ve ever wondered how to make saying “No” even easier, you just need one small question.
Why is it so hard for us to say “No” in the first place?
We all know that saying “No” is pretty darn hard – but have you ever wondered why that is? Well, it seems that even those who swear that they are okay being the outcast and fine being the loner, have a natural instinct to gain the acceptance of others. In fact, the roots of this need can actually be traced back to the Theory of Evolution, where group survival would improve your chances of surviving through the night, rather than going it alone. Saying “Yes” can ensure that this group survival and acceptance stay intact – even in today’s modern world. However, that’s not the only reason. According to science, we also have a desire to belong within the environment we live, and we all aim to be at the top of the social ladder. To do this, we often have to avoid temptation and say “Yes” even when you don’t want to.
One question to rule them all
Luckily, there is a way to avoid saying “Yes” and “No” altogether, and it stems from one simple question: “How?” When someone asks you for help, they might not be asking you in the best interests. They may be using you, they may be taking advantage of you, or they might just be palming off their work onto you. While saying “Yes” would mean that you would give in to their advances, and saying “No” would come across confrontational – asking them “How?” puts them on the spot and allows them to clearly spell out what they want from you and how they want you to do it. By doing this, you will be able to scope out whether what the person is asking from you is a genuine need or something they can do. If it is valid, they will be able to explain their request, and you may be able to accept. If it’s not, they may retract their question in the first place…making your “No” a lot easier.
It is okay to turn people down
However, asking “How?” should not replace the word “No” if someone’s request is not something you are willing to do. Yet, it can help you out of a sticky situation if you are afraid of hurting someone’s ego, or worried about your social status within the office. Asking this question and questioning their motives can also allow others to respect you, as they see that you are not a pushover.
Saying “Yes” to people all of the time can be exhausting, but saying “No” to them can come across standoffish. Thankfully, you can now ask them one little question to work out whether their request is worth your time or not, and to show that you aren’t the kind of Yes-Man who will give in to everything request that comes their way. It’s the best of both worlds!