The Power of NO

'No' is a very powerful word, which is perhaps why some of us find it so hard to say. Teach your child the importance of using this word.

Isabella Rosselini once said that if she had one thing to say to her daughter that would help her lead a happy and successful life, it would be to say 'no' more, and to say it as often as she likes.

The Power of NO

If you don't say 'no' nearly as much as you would like to and often find yourself bending backwards to accommodate others, it can get very frustrating. However, you are not alone in this. Millions of people across the globe and cultures face the same problem. Although it is certainly nice to help others out, what doesn't make sense is when you help someone even though you don't want to, and even though you feel taken advantage of.

Many of us have a very strong urge to be liked by everyone. We want everyone to say, "Oh, she's so nice, so helpful, always there for you." This makes us feel good about ourselves. Increase your child's confidence by teaching him that he doesn't need another person's approval to feel good about himself.

Sure, we want to be there for our family, and when they call, we will gladly go out of our way to help them. But, picture this. You are a lawyer, and a relative comes to you for legal advice expecting you to give it to him free of cost. You want to say no, but you feel awkward, stingy and mean, and so you sit down with him, go through his papers, and give him your advice. He gets up, thanks you, and leaves. You go back to your work, telling yourself, "Hey, its no big deal. I'm glad I was able to help," even though you're really NOT.

So what's wrong with this picture? You helped out a relative in need, didn't you?

Well, what matters here are your own feelings about the situation. Perhaps you were completely free and happy to help out. If this was the case, you did the right thing On the other hand, maybe you were having a very busy day, but just couldn't bring yourself to say 'no', even though you would have liked to because you knew you could not charge him, and are pressed for time by clients that DO pay you.

First of all, it is perfectly acceptable to refuse to proffer your professional services for no charge. Get this straight. When a relative comes to you for 'free advice', he is actually saving money because he hasn't gone to somebody else. 

So it's all about finances really. If he is really poor, it is a different situation, but if he is just trying to save a few bucks, well then, you're trying to make a few bucks yourself, and don't let anyone try to make you feel guilty for doing so.

Teach your child that he doesn't need to feel guilty every time he refuses to do something for someone. He should try and find a balance by helping out when he can, and not going out of his way other times - if he doesn't want to - and especially not for people he knows will not do the same for him. On the other hand, if someone has overextended themselves for him, and are likely to do the same in the future, they too should do the same.