[Manifesto] How To Say No

This is a redesign of the How To Say No Manifesto. Saying no is definitely something many of us can get better at! ;)

How To Say No, Manifesto (Click image for larger version)

Read the full article: How To Say No To Others: Your One-Stop Guide

Get the poster and postcard version at the Personal Excellence Gift Shop for yourself or as a gift for a friend/family!

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  • Netta

    I am really enjoying reading these. They are very helpful. Especially the latest one about saying no. I am one of them people that has a hard time telling others no. I would enjoy reading anything you write but I would really enjoy enjoying seeing a short version of the 101 ways to be a better person. Maybe the top 10 suggestions?
    Thank you for all that you do Celes.

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Thanks Netta, I really appreciate it. :D I’m planning to do a manifesto of the 101 series posts for sure – I need to work out how to go about doing that though, because the post is quite massive. One way is to cover all 101 tips, and another way is to select the top few, as you suggested.

  • http://avene.org Glenn

    This one looks good :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Thanks Glenn – Glad you like it :D

  • http://BredouAlbanBrice.com Alban Brice

    Great. I deliver a speech on the same topic months ago within my Toastmasters Club. This manifesto is like a plus to my speech. Thanks Celes and Keep up the good work.

  • Susan

    Poster looks good, but I’m not sure I agree with item 8. Cutting off access when people might need you may not always be good. It could imact one’s image at work, or it could cut one off from valuable information that could otherwise be utilized. In your article, you say that you don’t accept emails any more — only facebook posts. However, some people may want to give you some valuable information without making it public on facebook. For example, I have some very valuable and positive input to make your site better, but I do not want to post it on facebook, so I don’t know how to get it to you, because you have “made yourself less accessible” by design.

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Susan, I recommend to check out the original source article for elaboration on the rationale behind the points. The manifestos are simply direct adaptations of what are existing content on the blog, written in the past 3 years since it was launched. All the tips on PE may not be applicable for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay too. The key is not to follow what is written blindly, but to pick and apply what works for you, in the right situation.

      • Susan

        Thanks for responding. I did read the article. That’s how I knew you did not want to receive reader’s emails. I do understand that you cannot help all of the thousands of people who try to contact you for help. But what if someone wants to help you? (Like me.) That person cannot reach you either.

        • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

          Hi Susan, thanks for your feedback. :)

          As you have mentioned, I have not completely cut off contact and continue to provide open channels for feedback, which are Facebook, Twitter, the blog comments for latest posts, and PE Forums even (there is a feedback sub-forum there). I do receive a frequent stream of feedback every day via those channels. It’s up to the individual’s choice on whether to use those channels to feedback, and it’s unfortunate if one decides not to despite having the available mediums, for whatever reasons they may be. The way the blog has been set up is that its a platform for all, and hence having a discussion/feedback platform that’s open to all is also intended by design.

          I’ve discovered that whenever I introduce individualized, 1-1 feedback channels on a platform that’s intended for a community, the system collapses on me, is a heavy suck on my time and energy and thereby prevents me from doing further work to grow the community better. PE has developed immensely this year, more so than the first 2 years, and it’s not an accident that it happened after the closure of the contact form too – it freed up a lot of time on my end and more importantly, no longer diverted my attention away from what I want to do, hence allowing me to make more progress on the ideas I have for the site. For the first time since starting the site, I’ve not had to filter/sieve through emails, plough/scan through each message and to try to extract its value, etc – all of which can be quite an energy suck. The nature of the task makes it meaningless to outsource as well. It was making me unhappy and turned what I was doing into *work* when what I’m most passionate about doing is synthesizing my ideas, taking action out there and sharing my knowledge with everyone, not sitting behind the computer and read emails.

          At the end of the day, I’ve tried an open contact form for 2 years, tried to make it work out in whatever means I’m open to, and have concluded that the cons of having it open to all has superiorly outweighed the little potential benefits that come with it – at the very least not for myself. I can’t speak for other site owners but I know having an open contact form is no longer something I want to do. Whatever loss of potential benefits from this decision is a risk I’m happy to accept. Ultimately there will always be trade-offs with each decision, and the best thing I can do is to make the decision based on what conforms best with my current priorities and values, so I can better pursue my path. Doing anything else will only make me unhappy and that will not help in living my purpose.

          Hopefully this lets you better understand where I’m coming from. Thanks.

  • AH888

    Super job! This is SO relevant today, especially for those who are trying to please everybody but they need to take better care of themselves.

  • JadePenguin

    Something I still need to work on (Internet, I’m looking at you!)

    I do, however, think #11 is very disrespectful if it’s a friend or acquaintance. One should at least have the courtesy to give a short reply: “I’m sorry but I’m very busy right now. Could you send this to my email so I can read it when I have time?” or even “I’m sorry but I’m having a very busy time and to be honest, I do not have the same interest for the topic as you.”

    I get people ignoring my messages every now and then. Some of it may be technical quirks or them honestly forgetting to reply. But if it keeps happening, it’s probably deliberate silence. Is it just me who’s taking it too seriously? Or should I let them know they’re coming off as uncaring in their communication?

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      Hey Jade!

      I used to have a serious issue with people ignoring me/my messages. (I later uncovered the root reason as I shared in my post on childhood stories.) Not trying to condone the behavior in any way at all, but I no longer take issue when people ignore or don’t respond (whether intentionally or not). I just take it that there’s insufficient or no interest or the person is simply too busy to respond (especially since this has personally happened to me before as well). Personal relationships aside, in the business and work context it’s pretty accepted/established that not responding simply just means no interest/lack of interest, and either the other party follows up (if keen enough) or take it as rejection and move on. Besides, way too many things for us to put our energy into than to be upset at people who can’t be bothered to respond, to be honest. (The reverse is true as well; I’m sure there are people whom we have inadvertently ignored before and it’s kind of pointless for them to fume at us especially if we were not deliberately trying to ignore them in the first place.)

  • http://karenyvonne.net/ KarenYvonne

    Great Manifesto! thanks for sharing it!

    • http://personalexcellence.co Celes

      No problem! Glad you like it Karen! :)

  • padola

    Hi Celes! I enjoy reading your articles but unfortunately I must disagree with many points on this one. If you follow the rules listed out, you come across as extremely rude. And that may not be good for the relationship with the other party, particularly if you want the other party do *you* a favour in the future.

    It’s fine to keep it simple. Research however shows that people react more positively if you give them a reason for your behaviour – even if it’s a stupid reason like “I have to finish something else”.
    Making yourself less accessible may work in a short term, in a long term, this really is not a good idea. The main benefit of social networks is the ease of access to everyone.
    And no reply is a form of reply … eh … yes, it is except that the other party may not guess what you meant and may therefore ask you again – and that may be a bother for you and embarrassing for them. So it’s easier to say No and make it clear for everyone.

    So – all in all – saying No is indeed OK, just do it in a considerate way, treat the other party as a human being not a pest and communicate clearly not to waste everyone’s time. :cool:


  • http://www.CoachingWithChristina.com Christina

    Hi Celes,

    I love this! The steps are simple, clear, and targeted and the information is valuable. I’m sure I’ll need to refer to this from time to time :)


  • http://www.somebodysuperbody.com Marcus

    Really cool list, thinkable and looks awesome ;)