How to say No!
Jesus said, "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil" Matthew 5:37.
But the question is do Christians know how to say no?
In life we’re presented with more demands than we can ever meet and still be effective. And yet, for many, saying no is really hard, no matter how unreasonable the request may be. If you want to be successful you’re going to have to get comfortable with saying “no” from time to time. Saying no shouldn’t be seen as being rude; it’s being strategic.
Declining in a smart way shows your assertiveness as a believer. Successful people recognise that their time is their most valuable commodity so here are some things to consider next time you want to say no to someone:
The Direct No – when someone asks you to do something that you don’t want to do, just say ‘no’. The aim is to say no without apologising. Don’t apologise unnecessarily – remember your rights, you have the right to say no without feeling guilty. So statements like “I’m so sorry but I just can’t do it” should be wiped from your vocabulary.
Avoid excuses – ok, so when you’re asked to do something you don’t want to do, it can be really tempting to make up an excuse – come on we’ve all done it. But what typically happens? The person offers a way round our excuse and we end up saying yes. Avoid excuses and be honest that you’re choosing not to do it.
Get your body language right – Make sure your nonverbal gestures mirror your verbal messages. Shake your head when saying “no.” Often people unknowingly nod their heads and smile when they are attempting to decline or refuse.
Use silence - If the person persists even after you have repeated your NO several times, use silence, or change the topic of conversation. You also have a right to end the conversation.
Accept the consequences - You have a right to say no and others have the right not to like it. They may express their disapproval by distancing from you or excluding you from activities. On a personal level, you will have to accept the consequences. On a professional level, you may have to be ready to address the conflict if their behaviour negatively impacts your ability to successfully perform your job.
Think of a person who always asks you to do things you don’t want to. The pushier the person is, the better. Now stand in front of a mirror and practice saying no assertively.
Rehearse what you would say in the situation and how you’ll remain assertive. Repeat the challenge with 3 or 4 different situations. As with any new behavioural change, start small with individuals where you know you will have a good chance of success and minimal negative consequences if you get a bad reaction.
Hopefully by now you can see that being assertive comes with a lot of perks. Like any new skill, learning to be more assertive takes time and practice, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
Thanks for reading and all grace when you begin to discover how assertive you can be.
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