just say noIn business, as well as in our personal lives, no can sometimes be the hardest word to say. Those two little words possess a great deal of power and influence. The closer we are to the person, place or thing we must say no to, the more difficult it is to do. I will go a step further and say that we feel compelled to provide an explanation. And, while I do believe that sometimes it is necessary to explain why we are saying no, in most cases, it is not. As humans, we tend to feel obligated to explain ourselves. We don’t want individuals to be mad at us or feel we are letting them down. The truth is, no is a complete sentence. It’s an answer to a question. Whether or not you should offer a why depends on the situation.

Understand that providing an explanation doesn’t mean you’ll be forgiven. It doesn’t mean you will be more liked. What is does mean is that you respected yourself and others to say no. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. When I say no, it’s usually because I’m trying to protect myself and/or others. There’s a lesson to be learned. There’s a strength that needs to be explored or exercised.

With each encounter in question, ask yourself what the short and long term outcomes will be. Examine the pros and cons. Evaluate whether the risk is worth the reward. Decide whether or not it will compromise your values, peace of mind and overall holistic well being. Assess whether or not you will see growth and if there is a mutual benefit.

Once you’ve completed your research, evaluations and careful assessments, you will be able to make an informed decision about what YOU want and need to do. And, if the answer is no, then say it with confidence, knowing that unless it is truly necessary, an explanation is not needed nor required.