3 Times When Saying No Can Be a Good Thing

Remember, when saying no, it is important to remain professional and respectful. You have the right to refuse to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

If there’s one word synonymous with negativity, it’s “no”. How else can one come to view the opposite of yes, okay, and sure? No can easily sound like stop, don’t, can’t, or won’t, but it doesn’t necessarily mean something negative.

When I was a little girl who wanted certain things, like too much junk food and permission to play out of sight, my mother used the word no quite often. Naturally, this caused me to view it in a bad light, and I believe many people teach themselves the same. Saying no to others can make you feel guilty or empathetic when you remember instances of hearing the answer yourself.

But, what if my mother had said yes when she meant no? Surely, the smart lady wouldn’t have been living what she believed; she wouldn’t have been happy with the situation; and, perhaps most importantly, she wouldn’t have been doing her job of protecting me and keeping my best interest at hand.

Can you now see how no can actually be better than yes?

In your career, saying no can have benefits, as well. As an adult, it is now my job to protect myself and my career. That means I have to say no from time to time, and so do you.

Think of these instances when the best answer is only two letters long:

1. Inappropriate interview questions

What would you do if someone asked you about your sexual orientation of marital status? Would you feel comfortable discussing your living arrangements or how many children you have? Of course you wouldn’t because it wouldn’t be appropriate to discuss. Interview questions like these should be addressed head on. You can say, “I am going to have to respectfully decline from answering that because it is not relevant to the position or my ability to fulfill the position.” Don’t give in to inappropriate questions. If you do, you will undoubtedly get more of the same.

2. The first offer for a salary

Negotiating salary can be a tricky slope. Typically the first offer for pay is a little lower than what your employer can actually pay. You will most likely wind up with a number between their offer and yours, so pick a figure that will reasonably lead to the pay you really want. Check out this post on negotiating tips for more information.

3. A position you don’t feel right about

Intuition is a powerful thing. Sometimes we really need to make money, and taking the first job offer that comes our way can seem like the only option; it isn’t. You should never sacrifice your safety or well-being to take a job that makes you feel uncomfortable. There will always be something else, so don’t be afraid to decline an offer that isn’t in your best interest. Remember, you have to protect yourself. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing your child was working that job, you shouldn’t either. Be up front and say that you will be unable to take the position. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

Remember, when saying no, it is important to remain professional and respectful. You have the right to refuse to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. These are only some reasons to say no. Certainly, there are other situations where learning how to say no to people is important. Stay tuned for Part 2.

For more posts and related articles by Sara Kosmyna.

Why do you think saying no is such a difficult thing to do? Do you have a story to illustrate an instance when saying no saved you from a bad deal or decision? Share below.

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