Let’s say “NO”
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“NO” is everyone’s first defence. It may not be fashionable or easy to say ‘NO’ all the time, but it’s sometimes necessary to do so because of the continual push and shove and the ability to politely decline an offer to help us maintain our well-being from various threats.

Having a kid who can say ‘NO’ is something that parents want to teach since they live in a world full of threats, temptations, and cultural pressures. But despite all of this parents usually don’t like it when this negative statement is made to them. “We want our teen to be able to say “NO,” but not to us so often!”

Adolescents grow up thinking parents can force them to do things. Teens, who are bold to say ‘NO’ to their parents are frequently better at establishing boundaries and expressing ‘NO’ to peers. S/he isn’t weak with us, thus we’re certain they can compete with peers. If the teen’s ‘NO’ gets you upset, understand that they frequently feel the same way. As the child strives to gain greater independence, the parents say ‘NO’ when permission or assistance is requested.

A youngster who craves more independence may not accept a parent’s ‘NO’ easily. Parents must explain their ‘NO’. A parent may say, “We’ll be firm when we need to be, but flexible and explain our choices. We’ll always listen to your non-hurtful and respectful feedback.” Parents who decline a teen’s request are frequently accused of being on an ‘ego trip’ but they do it with the teen’s welfare in mind.

When a teenager makes a decision, we must be aware that the decision may be taken based on fear if they usually worry about missing out on something. Will saying ‘NO’ mean I miss the best chance of my life? Will this friend stop working with me? Will the reference I need go away? Am I going to lose my peer because of my ‘NO’? Will he get hurt, angry or become resentful? And it has been witnessed by many a parent that because of these fears and constant peer pressure, saying ‘NO’ is difficult during adolescence and teenage phases.

The real point of “The Art of Saying No” is to set limits and make decisions from a place of abundance, not fear. As of today, our school system does not offer “The Art of Saying NO,” thus, parents must cultivate this assertive communication skill in their children. In assertive communication skills, it is said that the meaning of assertiveness is to get sure that you don’t say ‘NO’ to yourself before saying “YES” to someone else. You’ll feel more comfortable saying ‘NO’ if you know why you are saying ‘NO’ to someone, and an inner serenity is targeted while exploring and investigating the reason for saying ‘NO’. Thus, we need to have a strong reason that convinces us first before speaking it to someone else. As soon as you realise why you don’t want to do something, magic occurs. You have a strong reason; something substantial that is worth being defended. Your values fuel you, a motivator. Now you are ready for delivering your ‘NO’.

Make eye contact, put a smile on your face, and approach the target person with a polite voice – Prepare a reasonable statement to back up your ‘NO’

  • Do not change the statement in any way
  • Keep to the same tone and volume of voice (for example, subtle changes may give the impression that you are becoming frustrated and therefore wavering)
  • Do not deliver your ‘NO’ statement in a tone that can be perceived to be aggressive or threatening. Your aim is not to upset or intimidate
  • Repeat what the other person has said to show him or her that you have listened to them – Try not to use the word ‘BUT’ as conjunction. Instead, leave a pause.
  • Be prepared to repeat

We want to feel protected in partnership, in any connection. If we don’t feel psychologically safe, our structuring element is bound to develop the threat response. Training our assertive communication in saying ‘NO’ requires continuous practice. Our threat reaction may take over if saying no might have an impact on our future development chances or put our relationship or marriage in danger. When faced with the prospect of losing, our emotional mind may be more motivated to perform the opposite of what we want. The very act of being conscious creates a connection in our mind, which we may then work to develop and train ourselves. It’s possible to learn to say ‘NO’ in constant practice. No shortcut here!

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