“No” is a complete sentence. It does not require an explanation to follow. You can truly answer someone’s request with a simple No. – Sharon E. Rainey

I have seen too many people lie, skirt, hide and ultimately flee, just to avoid circumstances requiring a simple “No”.

There are good reasons to say Yes to requests, especially as Yeses seem easier to give and provoke no cross-examination. Nos on the other hand, are hard at the start and seem to always need a justification and/or explanation. Typically, that’s where the lying starts.

There are some questions we should ask self during delayed Nos. Why does this circumstance or person bring so much guilt to my No? Who am I being by delaying this decision? Why am I less free here?

It’s only by saying “No” that you can concentrate on the things that are really important. – Steve Jobs

Your ability to say No is linked to your freedom and balance. As you develop the ability to say No, you create more freedom for the Yeses that matter. However, the lesser the freedom you have, the fewer the Nos you can give. A prisoner has less room for Nos.

Of course, the bedrock of sacrifice is to say Yes to an inconvenient situation and that is part of living, but that sacrifice should be your choice not your master.

Have you ever wondered how the most productive people, pack so much into their day? It is in the Nos, not Maybes.

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage pleasantly, smilingly, and non-apologetically — to say “no” to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside.” – Stephen Covey

With a deeper understanding of your priorities and a daily consciousness of magnitude, space, time and direction, saying “No” will bring less discomfort. The discomfort of a “No”, if any, is transient.

You cannot say No to others if you have not learnt to say No to self. When you know what you need and understand the Yeses required, the inconvenience of a No will fade.

You will also see that most Nos are actually Not Yets.  That understanding is key for freedom. You can attend to all requests, but Not Yet and since you can only be present with one task at hand, No, is the best Not Yet response.

Tone is the hardest part of saying no. – Jonathan Price

One of the difficulties people have with a No is how to deliver it without losing a relationship. “No” is circumstantial, it is neither final nor fatal. Practice will help you fine-tune your tone to circumstances. All relationships need boundaries for balance and the best markers are your Nos.

You really do not need a relationship that cannot take a No. Such relationships are predatory, entitled and draining.

Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say No without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say No without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions. – Stephanie Lahart

– Osasu Oviawe

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