The Art of Refusing

Have you ever been refused? How did you feel at that time? Did you feel comfortable or embarrassed? A good supervisor or a capable person will not refuse others easily. When they do so, they should give something in exchange. We all need to know the art of refusing.


When we ask someone else for something or communicate with another person, if she is prompt and positive in her response, we feel happy. However, if the other party gets difficult and gives many excuses to put us off, we will surely consider her as stubborn and inconsiderate and someone we do not want to work with.


When the average citizen goes to government agencies to request documents or settling personal affairs, often they are met by bureaucrats who frustrate him/her with red tape in order to exert their authority. Thus, governments are often viewed as removed and unreasonable by its citizens.


We should learn the art of refusing because rejection is very demoralizing. For instance, this art involves not refusing outright, not refuse easily, and not refusing when we are angry. We should not refuse casually, coldly, nor arrogantly.


If refusal is the only option, we need to respect others’ feelings. We should speak gently with a good attitude and smile so that the other person can appreciate our sincerity and good intentions. In addition, when refusing others, we should provide the alternative to their request. Suppose a subordinate asks for an air-conditioner. We should at least give him/her an electric fan. If a friend wants a bunch of roses and we cannot afford or find them, we should maybe bring carnations in its place. When we refuse others but instead provide them with an alternative or offer help, they will surely understand.


In human relations, if we can give others more consideration, space, tolerance, convenience, less rejection and less embarrassment, we will surely win their support. On the other hand, if we easily reject causes, conditions, and opportunities, then little by little we will lose their respect, trust, and friendship. Therefore, we should not reject others easily. Instead, we should follow our causes and conditions, then we can find more opportunities to learn and develop. Because by giving others more causes and conditions, we benefit even more.