How to Say No

How to Say No

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In a negotiation, each of the parts has the right to agree and disagree with the ideas of the other part. In other words, negotiating doesn’t mean that you always have to say “yes”, just because the other party asked you to agree to something. You have the right to say no. And it is important to learn how to say no.

First of all, you should say “no” when your partner asks you to break a hard limit. You may, in time, decide to change your limits. But that is your decision, and you’ll make it when the time comes. Asking you to break a hard limit shows little respect for you as a partner. So, you better think twice if you still want to go ahead with the scene.

If you’re going to say no, just say it. Don’t mess around. Be clear and specific about it. Don’t leave any room for doubt or ambiguity. On the other hand, you don’t have to be gratuitously rude. Don’t yell. Don’t call the other person names. Just say “no”.

Another thing: if you’re interested in going further with the relationship, take the time to explain to your partner why you are saying no to their request. Once again, try to be as specific as you can. For example, if you don’t want to try suspension because of the risk of falling down, say that to your partner.

Be open to feedback. Listen to what the other person has to say. Perhaps you’ll find common ground and agree on some middle-ground solution. However, don’t let your negatives be minimized. Remember, you have the right to say no.

Finally, if your position is a positive no, say so to your partner. Nevertheless, if you think that eventually you might agree to what your partner asks of you, leave the door open for a future negotiation.

Now you know how to say no.

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