The Power of No

No, Na, Nac Ydw, Nadda, Nope.

What does ‘no’ mean to you? It may bring back childhood memories of your parents teaching you right from wrong (or in my case, stop eating all of Nan’s sweets). It may speak to your own parental instinct to assert boundaries for your kids. It could be embroiled with guilt, rejection or a simple way to decline a request or offer you’ve received.

When it comes to using the two letter word though, I’ve seen many people try to worm around saying ‘no’ for fear of upsetting others. I’ve also fallen victim of my own inability to manage others expectations and embarrassingly ended up singing dancing queen in-front of 300 work colleagues for a department talent showcase- I still cringe when my brain decided to haunt me with a flitting memory. Ugh!

Whether the awkwardness of ‘no’ makes you want to grab some popcorn and watch what unfolds, or make you wish the floor would swallow you up whole, navigating what can be tricky social terrain, doesn’t need to be a problem. One of the good things that has come out of lockdown for me, is finding the positive power of ‘no’.

Say it!

Literally say it. Try is now. No. No. No. It doesn’t have to be harsh, unfriendly or cutting (unless you want it to be). Many don’t use the word because they, themselves see it as negative. Sound familiar? Then go deeper. What’s the reason(s) that no is your first initial thought and answer? Chances are if you explain your justification, the other party will understand and respect your wishes.