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The art of saying “no”!

By Ankeet Dhoj Khadka
I can clearly recall that a day in an interview I sat where I was asked, what do you consider to be your biggest weakness in life! I paused to think for quite some time then came up with an answer saying, “I just can’t say “no” for an answer. I don’t want to come out as rude to anyone” to which the interviewer replied, “you’ll learn to as time passes by.” Maybe the reason was, I didn’t want any confrontations with that person on why I said “no”, or maybe I didn’t want be known as the person who is arrogant and unhelpful. I have come to realize this happens a lot especially when you are with your friends and if you have a bigger circle, it’s all hell loose. I am the type of guy who values friendship a lot and I really dig deep into how others feel, how I make them feel, saying no made me feel like I was straining the relationship with my friends, family and relatives.
I do know some people who can just say ‘no!’ with a straight face and I always wondered how do they do it, I wish I had that trait. Yes, you do need certain amount of courage to say it, it would have been easier if you had the upper hand. It’s easier to say “yes”, it just takes split seconds, but it takes time to say the word “no”, you have got to think of something to say so you can dodge your way out of it without hurting the person’s feelings at the same time. Now, I have come to realize that you have to speak the truth and be direct about it, never say “yes” if you can’t keep your word, you have to care less about what others think of you. Putting yourself first is the ultimate goal in your life and it’s not being selfish, the more you put yourself first, the more you’re about to honestly, genuinely, completely serve others. Saying “yes” is like a debt you have which you eventually have to payback, why would you want to be in one if can’t pay it back?
Every successful person in this planet knows the importance of saying “no” because they know what works best for them, if the “yes” they say is not leading them to their goals they are better of saying “no”, you see saying “yes” retains time and they know how important time is, like James Clear wrote in his article “no’ is a decision, ‘yes’ is a responsibility’. Once you say “yes” to something, it lands on your feet as your responsibility and one has to perform. The embodiment of the late Steve Jobs is an eye opener to itself, who said, “People think focus means saying “yes” to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying “no” to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”
The main motive behind you saying “yes” to an opportunity is knowing whether that opportunity gives you the excitement or the adrenaline rush in your body that you can drop everything else and go for it, it’s a “yes”, otherwise you can just say “no”, or think about it twice.
Although this is a skill that is hard to master, at least for me, there will come time in your lives where you have to choose between a “yes” or a “no”, deciding what to choose can eat your brains out. When you are at that point in your life just ask yourself, is it worth the effort? Because there is absolutely no point in wasting your time and efforts to the things that don’t matter, if it does, great, if not, NOOOOOO!

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