Acquire powerful, easy-to-apply tools to help you say no effectively whilst maintaining relationship rapport.
So how do you say no? You get your own house in order. You see where you're going along with the crowd:, where you're giving into external demands of shoulds, oughts and musts, and you're increasing your awareness on a daily basis to see your part in creating your life.
It depends on the circumstance, but say you're at work and someone says, “Hey, you could just help me out with this job, could you?” If you've got a good relationship with them, you can say, “I'm really sorry. I'm really not up to it at the moment, I’m not going to be able to help you. Going to have to say no.” That would be perfectly acceptable. But if someone says, “Christmas is really important to us, are you coming home at Christmas?” and you say, “No, not this year” — and yet for the last five years you've been doing that, you're going to expect a bit of a different reaction.
If someone asks to marry you and you just say, “Nope.” Depending on the exchange, of course, that may be appropriate. If you only just met the person, you may realise that they’re joking. Again, context is going to be very important, but the more significant the response to the other person and to you, the more effort you have to put in to ensure that you're putting credit in the relationship bank, so to speak.
The late Steve Covey of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People talked about relationships as if they were bank accounts; relationship banks. He said that you have to put credit into relationships and then you go into the black. You're able to have a lot of credit in there and you can draw out. So, it may be things you say or misunderstandings that just take a little bit of that credit out, or you've disappointed the other person. You haven't stayed to the plan to meet them on Saturday night. Whatever it is, you're taking things out all the time.
We have to constantly give back or else we go into the red, and that's where we go into a serious conflict and then you've got to put a lot of effort back to ensure that your healthy bank account in the relationship term is a good thing. It's a great analogy to realise that when you start taking things out of the relationship, you have arguments.
You've let people down, you've had a sharp word, you've not listened to them. You're taking it out, so time must be invested to put things back.