Sunday, December 4, 2016

15. Say No and Empower People!

In the previous post, I said, 'Ask and you will receive.' But now am I saying, "When someone asks you for something, say 'No?'" No, I am not. I am only emphasizing th  need to say 'No' when you have to.

Why do you hesitate to say no?

You don't want to disappoint the other person. (eg. your child)

You don't want to displease the other person. (e.g. boss or colleague.)

You feel an obligation to say 'Yes/' (to someone whom you owe gratitude.)

You are afraid of the consequences of saying 'No.' (e.g. losing a relationship)

By saying 'Yes,' you expect the other person to reciprocate your gesture sometime in future.

If you have other reasons you can think of, you can add them.

Whatever may be the reason, the chances are that you are not likely to achieve your objective.

The other person may consider you weak or he may take you for granted. Or, he may feel that he is so strong that you can't say 'No' to him.

One of the most undesirable consequences of the failure to say 'No' is that you create expectations in the other person. In future, if you have to say no to him, he will feel as if you have betrayed him. 

There is a proverb in Tamil A beggar laments  'The noble lady who would always refuse to give me alms, has refused  today also. But what happened to the bitch who was giving me alms every day? The beggar is not upset by the former not giving him alms, because he had  no expectations from her. But he is upset with the 'philanthropic woman who was giving him alms every day.’ So, how can she refuse alms to me today’ is the logic of the beggar.

So, learn to say 'No' when you find the request unreasonable or when saying 'Yes' will not be in your interest.

By not saying 'no' when it would be the appropriate response, you are making the other person dependent on you. But by saying 'no,'  when, you have to, you are making the other person less dependent on you. This will make him think of other options and will empower him by forcing him to think and do things without relying on you.

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