How to say ‘NO’ (and be thanked for it)

You like to think of yourself as a good person: You greet your noisy neighbour in the morning; You tip the guy who washes your car with no carwash liquid; You even endure the stench of one of the company drivers who’s wearing ‘Detestable’ by Pierre Sardine. You seem to love everybody and everybody loves you – Bravo! But what happens when you suddenly get a request that you would rather not say YES to? Would you be ready to risk being ‘Mr. Mean’ and saying the dreaded ‘NO’? I wouldn’t hesitate for one second.

A typical scenario is if you’ve got some cash in your wallet and a colleague asks you, ‘Do you have some cash?’ Your honest answer would be ‘Yes’. Now here’s where it gets a little technical. Your colleague, who has a track record of not paying you back money he has borrowed off you, asks you to lend him some specified amount. If you want to go ahead that’s entirely fine. But if you don’t want to then you can say ‘No’ in more diplomatic ways than one:

1. Sorry, I’m using it later (It’s not a lie because you are going to use it eventually!)

2. I would if I could, but I can’t so I won’t (2nd part not to be used in practice; just fyi) 

3. Not this time but maybe next time (You’ve said ‘No’ with no future guarantees!)

4. You can collect it from ‘So-and-so’ (only applies if ‘So-and-so’ owes you money)

5. No problem. Can I have a post-dated cheque? (suitable when large sums are involved and the payee is not a close friend or relative).

I admire all the Yes-men of this world but I despise those who complain afterwards. Just say ‘No’. It’s a simple two-letter word which if used appropriately could save you a whole lot of grey hairs, sleepless nights and high blood pressure. I hope this short tutorial was useful for the well-to-do’s and the goody-two shoes. I think saying ‘No’ once in a while would make people respect you in the long run, as opposed to being perceived as a complete pushover. And if ‘they’ don’t want to mingle with me anymore it’s their loss. Damn the neglect – I opt for respect. In conclusion, be a Pro – Let your No be No!

5 thoughts on “How to say ‘NO’ (and be thanked for it)

  1. ‘No’, is a (oops, the) noble response. However, the path to it is not always pleasant. Be that as it is, nothing is worthier of a ‘No’.

  2. These days, I have learnt to just say no and not care about being diplomatic ‘cos the person was not being diplomatic when they decided to owe me MY money.

  3. Oh how I love these points you just made….I’m sure someone who’s struggling with the “NO” answer will learn to improve on it. So funny, yet straight to the point. You’re doing a great Job on this blog Jollof…..kip it up. Happy New Year to you

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