As children we all go through a phase in which the answer to any question always sounds the same: “No”. Over time, instead of learning to modify the use of this magic word, we tend to forget it. So much so that we end up carrying more burdens than we should. Rocio Quillahuaman portrayed it to perfection in one of his animations for Yorokobu. With a comical tone, he recalled how an overload of mental and workload, if not more, can lead us to almost surreal situations. Anyone else whose head is elsewhere, shower with glasses and try to open the door with a visa or transport pass?
“Saying no definitely has consequences, it affects us. We organize our days based on our work, our aims and goals. Any external responsibility, even the least will be annoying”, says psychologist Raphael Salome, from Vithas Aguas Vivas Hospital (Valencia).
So why is it still so hard for us to say “no”?
Say no, hard at work?
Rocio Quilahuman points out some of the ideas in his video. “This is the case of Joanna, a girl whose social, cultural and work environment has taught her that she has to say yes to all job offers that come her way, because everything is an opportunity that cannot be missed.” Does this really happen to us?
“There are many factors that characterize our ability to set limits or to deny requests from others,” continues Salome, looking for a possible explanation. “Typically, there are some misconceptions that perpetuate the problem and make it more difficult for us. One of them is feeling guilty. Also, because of low self-esteem, or fear of the other person’s reaction from “.
This fear applies especially to work environments, where we think saying no can have negative consequences, but also in our daily lives. “In general, it is difficult for us to be assertive, but in the workplace it is probably even more difficult because, in addition to our emotions, self-concept, etc., there is a work hierarchy”, he also says. psychologist jesus matoso.
“Many times we put ourselves in the worst possible position by thinking that they can’t fire us. And this may sometimes be the case, but usually workers with a high capacity for emotional intelligence and assertiveness (such as when and how to say no) are highly valued”, reflects the expert.
The problem with learning to say no is that there is some cumulative stress involved. We never rest, because we fall back into the same mistake, and we feel saturated again. Thus we enter a cycle that we do not know how to end. “If we stick to our requirement to say yes to everyone, the backlog of tasks will grow exponentially,” insists Jess Matos.
The point is, it’s not a question of saying yes to everything but no to everything, but of knowing how to find the right balance. “One of the keys is to choose the battles we want to participate in,” Matos says. “Perhaps it is emotionally wise to give in to issues that are less important to our well-being, and to stand firm in those moments when it is important to us to set boundaries.”
In this sense, before we start saying “no” to everything, “we need to find situations in which we are not setting limits and evaluate what would happen if we started doing it”. And who says circumstances, can also refer to people or customers in terms of work.
tools for learning to say no
Being clear about why it costs us, what it means to us, and what’s important to know about how to approach assignments, people, or opportunities, the next million dollar question is knowing how to say “no” before learning how to do it. What are the best tools for .
“When it comes to saying ‘no,’ the key is not just saying it, but finding the best way to communicate it. We need to be respectful and clear in our decisions without causing violence or discomfort to others. One of the keys is emotional regulation, how we perceive and manage our emotions in these types of situations”. Thus, “how we control these emotions will determine how our assertive response is is going to happen”, is the first advice given by Rafael Salome.
psychologist Xavier Savin He also considers this while providing some important tools. For example, not responding to demands immediately, but giving us time to assess them with a clear mind. “It’s better to be grateful that they notice us, but park the answer, saying that as soon as we have a moment we’ll call to talk about it. Once alone, we feel those feelings.” can assess the request without the effect of those who ask us for favors”.
Although we communicate strongly and take our time, we must recognize that we will not always find a smiling face on the other side. Even more so, if they are not used to our denial. “The normal thing is that when we start saying no in situations that we’ve said yes to before, the environment reacts, so you have to be emotionally prepared for it,” warns Matos.
To do this, something we must work on in advance is our self-esteem. “The reality is that when we say no, others see that we respect ourselves and so they respect us more. Generally being able to say that doesn’t indicate a good level of self-esteem is “.