We all know that certain someone. That person who is always late for the meeting, who is always frazzled and on their way to or from somewhere in a big hurry. We all know that person who seems like they are busy from sun-up to sundown but they never get their own things done. We all know that person who can’t say no.
People are genetically designed to want to please and to be liked by other people. Saying yes creates positive emotions which we interpret as acceptance and connection to others. When we say no, it is interpreted as a negative thing which creates tension and even distrust.
According to Psychology Today, “Neuroscience supports our hunch that No is going to register far more harshly than we may have intended. The human brain is hardwired to respond to No more quickly, more intensely, and more persistently than to a positive signal. No is stronger than Yes”.
Saying no can even lead to conflict. But, even though it can be viewed as a negative, sometimes no can be very positive. Saying no will not cause others to not like you, on the contrary, it may have the opposite affect and people will respect and value you all the more for your true talents and not simply because you are the go-to guy.
Saying No Is Important in Business
There are many instances in business when not being able to say no can get you into trouble or even hold you back from your ultimate potential. Every office has that person who is always getting into trouble for talking at their desk. They talk to everyone who goes by; they are sure that if they don’t listen to that story about Carl’s cat or Debbie’s mother-in-law that they won’t be liked or appreciated.
Talking to your coworkers and bonding is important, but not at the expense of your own job. You may think that people will be upset or not like you if you don’t have time to talk to them every time they pass by, but you may be surprised. People may start to respect you more for your work ethic and skills and like you for who you really are.
Possibly the most important reason to say no in business is, if you say yes all the time, people will never know where your true talents lie. When you say yes to everything, even the things that you are just okay at, you run the risk of seeming ordinary or average.
When you say yes only to the things at which you are really good, your bosses and coworkers will see exactly what you can do. When you run around doing everything, the things you really excel at can get lost in the mix and forgotten. It may sound counter-intuitive, but saying no may be the most important thing you can do for your career.
Don’t Say Yes When You Should Be Saying No
There are times in life when you should say yes, and there are definitely times in life when you absolutely must say no. There are certain things to keep in mind when deciding to say yes or no. You should never say yes because you’ll feel guilty if you don’t. Don’t say yes when you know you don’t have the time or when saying yes goes against your own personal belief system.
If you are the giving type, there are those people out there who will use and exploit you for their own selfish needs without ever giving a single thought to you or what you want or need. These people are users and don’t care about anything but how much they can get out of you.
When users get their hooks into you, it can be difficult to get free from them. they have a way of making you feel guilty, but you must say no for your own peace of mind. You should just gather up all your courage and give them a firm, unwavering no. It may be hard for them to understand at first but they will eventually get the message when you do not come through.
You should always say no when you know that you will not have the time to devote your full attention to the matter. Saying yes when you can’t really give 100% can do more harm than good. Saying no and letting someone else who has the time to commit to the project, will ensure a more successful venture.
Lastly, and perhaps most important, never say yes when it conflicts with your personal beliefs. We all need to be true to ourselves and the ability to say no, may be the biggest truth of all. So, if you are the type of person who always says yes, take small steps and say “I’ll think about it” instead of automatically saying yes. That buys you some time to think about it and may help soften the blow if the answer turns out to be no in the end.