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The Power Of NO

My friend, Pearly Quah, posted this question on Facebook:

How would you feel if you are being appreciated for always doing something for someone but one fine day, you can’t meet her request due to unforeseen circumstances and that makes her not happy with you? I am in such situation today. What would you do if you were me?

I replied: “Stay in your own space my friend. Know that you have done everything from your heart. Today you cannot, and if that other person doesn’t understand, it is their problem, and not yours. Don’t be misguided by guilt or any other negative feeling. Hugs..”

Then Pearly stated: “that’s the exactly people need to realize..have done everything from the heart and I agree, can’t allow negative feeling to take over…so I chose to turn off my phone since today is Saturday for me and enjoyed good laugh with my family members and friends at the mall..the best is my fever and flu also gone ha ha…it is magical, isn’t that right?”

Then I replied back stating that this conversation had become an inspiration for me to write a blog post about it.  Pearly agreed!


I’ve known Pearly for quite some time now.  She is a powerful entrepreneur and also one of the kindest and most authentic people you will ever want to meet.  Right now she is  working as a full time real estate agent and an online health food supplement entrepreneur.  Most importantly, Pearly is always building relationships before business.  She has relationship marketing in her heart and that’s why I respect her so much.  

What is the power of No?  And why do I call this a “Power?”

Simple.  If we are in the position of teacher, mentor, partner, therapist, coach and so on, we tend to be available for the folks whom we are helping.  It is imperative, however, that we set guidelines for ourselves when we are in this position.  Our time has to be valued, otherwise we will give so much of ourselves away, our energy will become depleted.  When a person dislikes you saying no, it is a red flag that they may be forming a dependence on you as their leader, coach or friend.  This can get into a messy situation on both sides.



So here is the answer to the “Power Of No”

We are usually brought up to learn that “no” is not a nice word.  We are somehow conditioned that saying no is a bad thing to do.  It makes us a terrible person.  But in truth it does not.  In fact, it makes us better people because we are being honest with ourselves and others.

The word No is a boundary you set between yourself and others.  Just think of the times you reluctantly did something, or just went along with it when you really didn’t have the time, energy or desire to.  How did that situation work out?  I’m sure your answer would be “not effective” or even, “disaster”!  It is unfair to the person you want to say no to because you are not giving it your all, and you are not being honest with him or her.  Accordingly, you may be distracted, or limited.  That doesn’t do the person in “need” any good now,  does it?
So how do we avoid getting ourselves into sticky situations?

1. When working with people, think about your time management.  Really think about it.  How much time can you offer a person?  Get into it a little deeper, dates, days, hours.   Write it down.

2. Make it very clear to a person that your are NOT available anytime!  You will find yourself in deep water if you do.  It will do no good for you or your friend, client or anyone else you are mentoring.

3. If you are mentoring a group of people, think about a good time for a Google+ Hangout, a tele seminar or a webinar…. any way you can group people together to teach or answer their questions all at one time.

4. If you are not in a position to help folks, just tell them that you cannot do it now, but can schedule a later time.  Remember, you are in control.

5. That brings me to the control issue. Some people get very angry when you tell them no. Ask yourself if they have grown to be dependent on you.  If so, that is something that needs to be brought up.  You will have to explain to that person that your role is to facilitate and instruct, but that they have to “do it” themselves.  Otherwise, it would be like a teacher taking a test for the student.  Does that do any good?  Absolutely not!

6. Have a contract of sorts that explains your limitations when working with someone.  If it is something you do on a social site or a blog, then write it down there so it is clear to folks.  When they “demand” something, refer them back to the written statement.  That will ease tension and clarify your boundaries.

There are a few examples of how the word “no” can work for you.  I realize that some people have a problem with that word. I know that feeling well because I used to avoid it, too.  I just could never say “no” back then.  I researched, read and learned the Power of No.  One day I looked in the mirror and said “NO” over and over again.  To my surprise, I still looked the same, I didn’t turn into a monster!   I said it in a calm voice and my face did not change.  I even noticed my facial expression was one of kindness.

So if you are having a problem with that world “NO”…  work at it.  I promise, you won’t melt, you won’t turn into a terrible person. I promise you will find more contentment and become a more skilled professional and even a more compassionate mentor and leader.

Just keep in mind that if the other person cannot deal with it, it is their problem and not yours.  They have a choice to deal with their feelings and choose to stay in an anger place, or grow and learn.


P.S.  If you want to get in touch with my wonderful friend, Pearly Quah, you can do so on her Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/PearlyPQ?fref=ts

I’d love to have your comments below, and of course, am happy to have you share this post on your social sites.

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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54 Responses to The Power Of NO

  1. Patricia Gozlan November 10, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Thanks Donna for this great analogy the power of no which reminds me of the power of now!
    To say no we need to be in the now in contact with what is true. If we need to say no for our inner balance or if this is what comes up because it is the truth why just not go for the truth, for what is.
    This gives us more freedom to say yes to what is true too;)
    Thanks to you and thanks to Pearly for this source of inspiration!
    Patricia Gozlan recently posted..Get Rid of Overwhelm and Clutter in Less Than 5 MinutesMy Profile

  2. Viola Tam November 4, 2012 at 2:31 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Thank you for sharing this insightful message.

    It is indeed very important to be aware of people who are draining our energy. The dependency issue from our friends or team members is something that all leaders need to deal with. The best way to really help the other person is to have a clear boundary. Help others to take responsibility for themselves. Leaders guide, not DO everything for others. Often, a ‘No’ can be more beneficial than a ‘yes’.

    Great insights, Donna! Thanks for sharing!

    Viola Tam
    Viola Tam recently posted..MLM Prospecting – Sure Ways to FailMy Profile

  3. Julieanne van Zyl October 29, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    Hi Donna, this reminds me of a time when I had a business partner who didn’t respect my time, and I see now it was my fault because I didn’t set boundaries (as you suggest) at the beginning. She lived in another country, and so was awake before me. And, as soon as she saw my skype was online, there she would be, asking me questions, befor I could wake up in the morning. I ended up having to make sure my skype showed offline until I wanted it to be seen otherwise. That was just to avoid having to say “no”. I find it a challenge to say no.
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted..Why Don’t Distributors Buy Products?My Profile

  4. Nile October 29, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    I always want to be the \\\”yes\\\” woman, but frankly, with some of the things people want me to do that are small… they get in the way of my bigger projects that need to be done. I love helping people and I feel in saying no that they will be mad. It usually is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of time issue.

  5. Yorinda October 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    you have given a lot of good reasons and suggestions for saying ‘no’.

    When we are true to ourselves and say no we take care of ourselves and by doing so we are truly capable of being there for others when we do say yes.

    Leaning to set boundaries can feel very uncomfortable at first and probably will meet with opposition, because others like us better when we say yes.

    To saying yes when we really want to!

    Yorinda recently posted..Salt versus Himalayan SaltMy Profile

  6. Lesly
    October 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    I loved this… there is, absolutely, power in saying no. It helps to set boundries, it shows self-respect and inner strength, it helps other people respect you more and to keep them from taking advantage of you. I used to feel guilty about saying no, now I say no and clearly state – now it’s your problem not mine. Kudos to you Pearly!!! And I love how you wrote about a friend’s question! Great idea! You’re awesome!
    Lesly recently posted..How Well Do You Know Your Immune SystemMy Profile

  7. Alice October 28, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    Hello Donna,

    I have to say this one is a big one in our industry

    2. “Make it very clear to a person that your are NOT available anytime! You will find yourself in deep water if you do. It will do no good for you or your friend, client or anyone else you are mentoring.”

    We love to say call me anytime, and that is not what we mean.

    Clarity is key!!

    Alice recently posted..The 3 Must Knows Of Network MarketingMy Profile

  8. Donna.Merrill October 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    The alternative to telling someone you can’t/won’t do something for them… is to ensure that you bill them ADEQUATELY for it if you do it! There’s a TON of service work that can be had in this industry but the hard part is being willing to go beyond “yeah I’ll do that to you” and on to “sure, I’ll invoice you for that and get started on that as soon as the invoice comes back in paid”. There’s a HUGE difference in those two statements!
    Donna.Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  9. Anne Perez October 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    as a former ‘people pleaser’ your post definitely resonates with me. Raised by a preacher and a teacher it was instilled in me to help others and over time I developed the habit of doing everything I was asked to do. It doesn’t work though. It’s impossible however hard you try. You can’t be all things to all people and as you say in your article Donna saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, just human. Choose your boundaries and decide on your priorities. If you’re asked to do something that you can’t do or don’t have time to do then just say no. You’ll be glad you did.

    • Donna Merrill October 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Absolutely Anne!

      I was raised as a “people pleaser” also, so I know exactly how you feel. It did take some work for me to learn to say NO!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  10. Nick Catricala October 26, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Donna.. NO, I will not say yes fro things that I want to say NO…
    Wow, you are so right and it was so nice that you shared teh conversation so people like me can read and visualize what truly is going on.

    Just a side note and share with you what happen more then a week a go… A realestate agent trove to my place for more then an hour because we had an appointment. Once here, I asked in front, what made you change yoru mind of coming all the way here after saying that you may not come? He said to me, “yoru words in teh email message made me change my mind” .. well, to make it short, he took a look at teh home and we left that he will get back to me teh next day *that was more then a week a go, and no calls or emails.

    That was not necessary.. he could just say no, it is to far for me to serve you and end as freidns.. and because he could not say NO, he chose the cauard way and never connect again with me.

    This was a clear example that having the courage to say NO, would be a lot beneficial, but he chose not to.. why? Becaue he had a problem saying no.

    Thansk for sharing your great story Donna and thanks for giving me the opportunity to share a peace of teh action haha 🙂
    all the best.
    Nick Catricala recently posted..Reaching Out…My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for sharing your story. This illustrates how frustrating it can be if someone leaves you hanging. Not having the courage to say no, not even in an email is bad business.

      I’ve worked with people in the past in real estate and they had the courage to be honest the best they could be and say no to my price. That’s OK because I could understand them.

      Later in another real estate deal I worked with her. We did fine. It was because the agent didn’t have the understanding of the value of one property, but later, she had the understanding of another in a different setting.

      By the way…I love real estate investing! It is one of my side jobs ha ha. I can understand the way you feel. And by this person not saying NO, immediately cut ties with you and themself. When another opportunity will arise, you won’t recommend that person at all. Just bad business!

      Thanks Nick for sharing this.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  11. Rick Lelchuk October 25, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    We humans are funny. We ask a question with the full intention of getting the answer we expect and then when it doesn’t work that way we get upset. If you as a yes/no question you must be open to either answer. Just because you expect a yes doesn’t mean you should get one. We set ourselves up for upset when we go in having an expectation. Be open to either answer, accept either answer and life will have less and less upsets in it.

    Rick Lelchuk recently posted..The Human Side of BeingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

      I knew I could get the “other side” of this question from you Rick!

      I am in full agreement with you my friend. So many people have expectations, maybe too many lol. We do have to consider the fact that it would be a yes or no to our question. We do have to realize that.

      I think it takes a certain type of personality that refuses the NO. And that kind of personality I choose to put a boundary up with. For they will always “expect” you to be there immediately and have no concern for you at all.

      If only life would have a delete button!
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  12. Theuns October 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Hi Dona

    NO…. that is a word that i some times struggle with
    also but it give you more power over your self, if you
    say yes to every thing and every one it can bring you
    also in big problems,

    So i go for the No more now than the yes … 🙂

    Theuns recently posted..Do You Need Money To Make Money? – The Bridge To SuccessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

      Knowing Your Kind Heart Theuns,

      I know it is probably difficult for You to say NO! It is important because it does empower us. From there, we can really be of help to others.

      Good seeing you again,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  13. Roz Bennetts October 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    No is difficult in so many ways, it’s quite a hard word all on its’ own and I think people react to it more strongly because it’s so short and abrupt. Your article made me recall an interview someone was receiving on TV once; the interviewer was giving the person a real grilling and instead of rising to the bait the interviewee gently said “well I don’t know about that, but I do know…. etc”. I thought it was a really good way of saying that he didn’t agree with the interviewer without being rude and getting his point across at the same time.

    Of course you couldn’t use “Well I don’t know about that” in your example but I think we know how harsh the word ‘no’ can sound and instinctively try and package it up more softly. But being able to mean No and say it is essential for our sanity.

    • Donna Merrill October 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

      Hi Roz.

      I agree with you here. There is always saying no in different ways. A good way is to always say it in a calm voice. You don’t actually have to say no as you explained in your example above.

      But if someone is pulling at you and you need to stop it, one can explain it an a gentle phase.

      Thanks for your example.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  14. farouk October 25, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    i just remembered the movie “Yes man” where Jim carry used to say yes to everything and in the end he got into serious trouble
    its very important to learn how to say no in the right time
    thanks Donna
    farouk recently posted..Why do people drink alcohol (The psychology of drinking)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

      Ha Ha…that’s right Farouk!

      What a great example!

      Thanks for your input.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  15. Carol Lynn October 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    This is something I bet most of us struggle with. You’re absolutely right, we’re brought up that “no” is mean and a bad word but it’s also necessary! We can’t go through life accepting every demand and every request. We need balance and it;s our job to take care of ourselves and keep things in balance with that one little word. To your point about what happened when your friend said no and the other person got mad, someone once told me the same thing: if someone gets mad it’s not about you – its about them. Sometimes people will only be grateful as long as you’re doing what they want. That’s not true gratitude and honestly you’d be better off ridding your life of these kinds of people. In business, little things like setting expectations, schedules and contracts can really help. Most excellent advice!
    Carol Lynn recently posted..The Beauty Of Education And Safety: 5 Questions With Dr. Rudolf Thompson, Founder Of The Thompson Center For Plastic SurgeryMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

      Thank you Carol Lynn!

      Yes totally agreed! When it comes to business, sometimes people are not truly grateful. That is the red flag to discontinue a relationship with them. Oh boy did I have my share with that!

      I had some people get so mad at me because I couldn’t be there when they wanted me to. They took tantrums. I cannot work with those who display this kind of behavior. And most importantly, I am not here to teach them to change.

      That is why I have my forms already in place BEFORE I decide if it is a good match to work with someone.

      Thanks for your input.
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  16. Jeevan Jacob John October 24, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Ah, yes. The power of no!

    Sometimes, we have to say no to others, and in other situations, we have to say no to ourselves.

    A pretty hard thing to do, but with the right reason, no like you mentioned is a appropriate to use

    (No is also great for quitting, isn’t it? Sometimes, we have to quit and try a new method – in those situations, it is better to say no to our determination).

    Yes, the problem with saying no is that it could be misunderstood by others (then again, we could tell ourselves that we don’t care what others think, but if they are our close friends or our customers, we can’t just ignore them, can we? I think the important thing is that we keep our tone and explain our situation; aka, why we can’t help them in that particular time, right?)

    Hahaha, loved how you used the video to explain the concept, Donna 😀

    Great post, Donna! Thanks!

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

      Hi Jeevan!

      I don’t consider saying no to a close friend, relative, and especially a client a bad thing. I can say no..but. That puts me in control of my own time. If a client wants something now and I cannot deliver it properly, I can tell them no, but I can do it on Thursday at three o’clock.

      This puts us in a position of not being a slave to another persons time. There are exceptions of course, if something really important comes up.

      That being said, if it is misunderstood by others, make it clear to them your why and also give them a time that you can help them with your all! This way you don’t have to dwell on it.

      Thanks for enjoying the video ha ha!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  17. Ashley Porter October 23, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    No is such a powerful word and it helps create your boundaries. It’s great that you find inspiration from conversation with your friend Pearly to contribute to this article.
    Thanks for sharing Donna,
    Ashley Porter recently posted..Social Media Classes in 2013My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2012 at 1:02 am #

      Thank you Ashley!

      It is a powerful word and life is so easy once implied.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  18. marquita herald
    October 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Great advice Donna! The truth is, most of the problems people experience with the “no” issue can be prevented. Many years working with entrepreneurs and I’ve seen time and again people getting themselves into sticky situations because they make themselves available at all hours of the day or night when they are hot to build sales, but when they want to have time off and someone needs them, feelings get hurt and sometimes a customer is lost. The solution is establishing personal boundaries that you maintain consistently, and communicate clearly. The challenge of course is having to go back and re-train people after they’ve begun taking your “flexibility” for granted.
    marquita herald recently posted..What Have You Learned Lately?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2012 at 12:57 am #

      As an experienced entrepreneur I am sure you have learned this lesson well Marty.

      When people make themselves available night and day, yes that will end up into a sticky situation.

      I have hours set up at my time and convenience. I do work a lot with clients, but am not available all the time. When “pushed” I said to one of my clients…”Hold on, I’ll give you the number for the crisis center!” She never pushed me again lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  19. Elaine Horner October 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Donna, this is so fresh in my recent experience. We had an acquaintance who recently came back into our life and needed help with her invoicing. When she initially approached me I said NO. I DESPISE doing accounting, books, invoicing, etc. But after lots of prodding and realizing she did NEED to get her invoices out and get some cash flow into her business I CAVED IN and said OK I’ll do it.
    BIG MISTAKE, it was not just invoicing it was learning a new business language, coding for her particular business, being compliant for licensing issues . . .
    I always take up any challenge with the mindset to do it well,organized and efficient. After pouring about a month of my life into her business I soon realized what I thought would be appreciated and respected by the recipient was casually taken for granted. This valuable time was being spent on activities that were draining me and making me very frustrated. So this time I did not let it continue. Recommended other solutions – of which I was not a part.
    What a feeling of relief when I took the books and gave them back to her. Lesson learned.
    Elaine Horner recently posted..Time to Get Healthy! Healthy Eating Tip #4My Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2012 at 12:52 am #

      Wow Elaine,

      That was a hard lesson to learn. But those are the kind of lessons we go through to change ourselves. Glad you learned from it.

      I thank you for sharing your story to illustrate the purpose of this post. Too much giving usually doesn’t have a good return lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  20. Sylviane Nuccio
    October 22, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Great post my dear friend, Donna 🙂

    Wow, let me start to say that I grew up with a mother who couldn’t say no. You couldn’t even start to believe what she’s done for people in her life. As a matter of fact, I never talk about it, because if I did, I feel that people wouldn’t even believe me.

    So, for me, to this day it’s never been easy to say no, but I also know that there are some things that my lovely mom used to do that are were not good for her, so I actually work on doing quite the opposite. Saying no is one of them. And gosh, I am learning to say no, but it’s still a work in process.

    Thanks for this reminder 🙂
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Why Do You Need To Use The Law Of Detachment To Attract What You WantMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2012 at 12:41 am #

      OMG Sylvianne,

      Did we have the same mom? That is exactly how I grew up! My mom would behave in the same way. So that is what I did. But it took some time for me to use the word No!

      It was something I did have to work on, but that God I have mastered it.
      Keep on going girl!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  21. Sue Bride October 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    It took me a long time to realize that I had to learn how to say No. There are only so many hours in a day and if you don’t set limits then some aspects of your life will suffer. You do not have enough time to give your children the attention they need, you neglect more important tasks and your health and personal life can suffer ….

    If you do not look after yourself then you are less useful to others and will not be able to do enough, let alone too much.

    There are times when you must say no from the perspective of “being cruel to be kind”. You can be doing a disservice to someone who relies on others too much, when the best thing for them would be to learn to take on responsibilities themselves. I was forced to distance myself from a friend because she was asking far too much from me. I had always said yes, often for the sake of her children. I still enjoy her company enormously (she is funny and witty) but I can no longer be in touch with her very often. Not that she has taken on more responsibility – she just asks other people now.

    Doing things yourself is most often the best way of learning.. In this case the best thing you can do is to point people in the right direction to find out for themselves.
    Sue Bride recently posted..Productivity with One NoteMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 24, 2012 at 12:35 am #

      Hi Sue,

      I like the way you put it when you said that there are times that we must say no from the perspective of “being cruel to be kind” It is really helping the person to take the responsibility for themselves.

      I also had a friend like yours. When I said no over and over again, she would act out and do the blame game. One day I had to just tell her the truth, that I was enabling her because she wasn’t taking responsibility to change her situation. Oh boy…she wrote me numerous emails, all of which I did not reply. I’m sure she found another to lean on.

      Thanks for your input,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  22. Barbara Charles
    October 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Hi Donna. I understand exactly what you’re saying. Happened in the first company I joined. I was working almost 24/7 maintaining and trying to help everyone on a team of 800! It was exhausting. The sad thing is when I stopped, they pretty much stopped producing. Guess you have to find the right ones uh? Anyway great post.
    Barbara Charles recently posted..How To Register A Trademark For Your BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 23, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

      He Barbara,

      There are limitations we have to stick to, especially when working with so many people.

      Experience is the best teacher of all. I Know you have “got it”

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  23. Steve Vernon October 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Hi Donna –
    First of all, I totally agree about Pearly. What a sweet and giving person! I haven’t had any contact with her in quite awhile, so perhaps this was a good reminder to correct that little situation. Secondly, you are absolutely right about the power of NO. Jesus taught that we are to love our neighbor AS we love ourselves. That doesn’t mean “more than” or “less than”, it means “AS we love ourselves”. When we find ourselves unable to say no, that’s a sign that we are not loving ourselves and that we are putting too much emphasis on pleasing others, in which we lose their respect. If someone can’t handle us saying no to them, then it’s a sure sign they don’t respect us either, and very possibly themselves, as well. You’re right . . . it is their issue, not ours. I’m reminded of one of my favorite mantras these days . . . other people’s opinion of me is none of my business. Only if I take care of myself and respect myself can I take care of others as the genuine need arises.

    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Hi Steve,

      Stellar response! I like the way you put it when you said Jesus taught us to love one another as we love ourselves…..

      And yes, it is true that if someone can’t handle it, it is a sign that they don’t respect us. I have learned that through business years ago. I even had to be a hard-ass to some and refuse to work with them. It is difficult, but easier in the long run.

      Thanks for your wise words,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  24. Adrienne
    October 22, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Great example here Donna that you can take conversations you’ve had with someone and it inspired you to write a post around it. I think that’s great that you shared this instance with us and at the same time have taught us a very valuable lesson.

    I never had an issue saying no to people before I came online. Funny thing is that I’m a whole different person in my offline life then my online life. I guess I just want to help the world that I find it harder to say no. But as time goes by and I understand that it’s necessary I have come to realize that it’s the only way for me to be able to do the things that need to be done within a certain time. That certainly does not make me a bad person.

    I believe the advice you gave Pearly was spot on and I sure hope that the person who have her this concern to begin with read this post. Hey, we all need a lesson from time to time right!

    Thanks Donna! You and David enjoy your week.

    Adrienne recently posted..Discover The Mystery Behind Alexa RankingsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      We do all have to learn to create boundaries. Saying NO online is something that is more prevalent than offline.

      There is always someone asking to join, do, or help in some way. We need to gracefully say no.

      It is so difficult sometimes because either I really want to help that person and know I don’t have time to. Or I am interested in an offer, but know I have to limit my focus on what I’m doing.

      Yes it is a difficult task, but just saying no thank you can save us time money and aggravation!

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  25. Tim Bonner October 22, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Hi Donna

    ‘No’ is a word my daughter recently learnt and it’s certainly an empowering word for her.

    As you say, it’s funny that as we grow up, we’re conditioned to think that using the word ‘No’ isn’t a nice thing to do.

    I’m not going to put that kind of a boundary on my daughter. I’ll try my best to teach her respect for others but I’m not going to stop her from saying ‘No’.
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    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

      Kudos to you Tim!

      At a certain age, kids love to use the word no to empower themselves. It is quite the challenge to let them say no to a degree.

      As she learns more words you might want to ask her “No because of what?” That will encourage her to stand up for herself but also give her a chance to reason.

      Good luck with that one Tim. My child rearing days are over and I feel like I’ve won a gold medal lol.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  26. Sue Price
    October 22, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    Hi Donna

    This is such good advice. I am glad Pearly inspired you to write this post. I used to struggle with saying No big time. Over the years with personal development and really looking at myself I have become so much better at No.

    I used to make up excuses instead of saying no then feel terrible because I had effectively lied. That was worst than saying yes. I have learned to say “no I can’t” or whatever with no excuse attached. That is so good.

    Great advice Donna.

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    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

      I understand that Sue.

      I used to make excuses instead of saying No also back in the day. And of course felt terrible making up lies why I couldn’t do something.

      It is something that just eats you up inside and makes matters so much worse. I am happy to hear that you “grew” out of that! It is a matter of learning for us isn’t it?

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  27. Pearly October 21, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This is a great post that needed by a lot of people. No is the hardest word to say but sometimes it is so much easier to say no to some and hard to say no to others…why is that so? We have the answer, right?

    Therefore, I would say, we are always in control in all situations and can say no with ease when we allow ourselves to have the power to say so ! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful post which generates more ideas for me to be myself whenever I say “NO” 🙂


    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

      Hi Pearly,

      I said it before and I’ll say it again: Thank you for being my inspiration for this post. It dawned on me as we were having the discussion on Facebook to write this.

      This shows the true power of using social media. You reached out and the conversation begun. Now here we are! I thank you for the inspiration,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  28. Angela Arnold October 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

    I fell in love with the power of no about 40 years ago, and I have never looked back. It has been deeply rewarding and amazingly fulfilling. Saying no free you to be able to fulfill your own goals and live in a way such that everyone benefits. I plan to write my own blog post about it a bit later, but saying now has made a world of difference for me.

    Take care,
    Angela Arnold recently posted..Facebook Marketing MagicMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      I am on the same page as you Angela.

      Coming from a place where I had no idea of this power and growing to a place where I learned it was OK took a little practice. Once achieved, I fell in love with it too.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  29. Harleena Singh
    October 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Wonderful topic of discussion Donna!

    You are so very right about how some people just can’t, won’t or don’t know how to say – NO. I guess they are so used to saying yes to everyone and always willing to help all those who seek their help that it often turns them into a yes machine, who at the end of it is the one who remains the most troubled.

    They aren’t able to follow their own work schedule, nor have their own lives, because they live more than half of their lives doing things for others as they can’t deny them. In some ways it’s good when you devote your life for doing good for others, but what does it get you in the end. Nothing.

    Just as in the case of Pearly, because she wasn’t able to do something for someone that she normally does – it turned her into a bad person? This happened I think because people start depending on you because you are ALWAYS available, and when one fine day you aren’t due to any reason, you are taken in the wrong sense, which I feel isn’t fair at all.

    I loved the tips you shared about how you can get yourself out of such situations, which again will happen only if such people are willing and ready to change themselves – isn’t it?

    I need to forward this post to a person I know who lives and does things always for others – should open his eyes I hope. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing and bringing up this wonderful topic that all if us need to learn from. 🙂
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    • Donna Merrill October 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

      Thank you Harleena,

      Glad to be of help for your friend. This topic I find is a common one among many people.

      While I observe people that just cannot say no, I find that if they go along with the situation it is either:

      1. Not giving all to that person which is no good for either party.
      2. Not saying No can cause resentment
      3. Not saying No can also be a sign of a passive agressive

      The list goes on and on and I believe it is a problem when one cannot set their boundaries. I can only speak for myself and what I observe.

      Thanks for your awesome comment Harleena,
      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  30. Carolyn
    October 21, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Hi Donna, What sage words from your friend, Pearly. You ladies are right, NO is a very difficult word to say. When asked for volunteering opportunities, people often say no even if they’re already overbooked. And the people who are already helping out are the ones most likely to be asked.

    You’re right, time management is key. Something has to give and hopefully your sanity isn’t what goes first!
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    • Donna Merrill October 21, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

      Thank you Carolyn

      Not putting up those boundaries by saying No will drive one crazy!!1

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

  31. Mayura
    October 21, 2012 at 6:29 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I think we all can relate to that story 🙂 Thanks for converting your conversation to a blog post.

    Earlier, even I wanna say ‘NO’, it never came out of my mouth dear 🙂 So I accepted new responsibilities, but I managed to do ’em and finish off my work by working late night. Sometimes I miss my meals, but I don’t let ’em know that. Actually I was happy that I made a lot of work on a day 🙂

    But there were times I couldn’t really devote my time as I had tight schedules 🙂 I felt sorry that time. I replied reason and look into that later. Never said “NO” directly. Sometimes I’ve got reply saying it’s alright. But sometimes I haven’t got replies. I felt like I made ’em angry or sad. How stupid I am? 🙂 Or is it just my nature?

    Now I’m taking little bit control over my actions. Yet, I was able to help promptly, as and when I can reach, though I got such situations. But there were times that I might have miss my work by devoting time for others 🙂 Glad I could manage yet. But I think this is a good reminder for me Donna 🙂

    Sometimes I get calls for some other work, mostly computer related troubleshooting 🙂 There are situations, I don’t know the problem exactly and how much time it will take to diagnose and fix. What is your advice on it Donna? If I know the problem and what to do, right after problem description, I can manage. But with no clue?

    Well, let me talk about climbing trees 😀 You made my day Donna.

    Thanks for Pearly to inspiring Donna to write this post 🙂 It’s very helpful for me.

    Have a wonderful weekend Donna 🙂

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    • Donna Merrill October 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm #


      I would say that firstly, understand and accept yourself as the kind human you are. I know that sometimes emotions get in the way. But try not to dwell on them.

      You have so many things you do in one day. Realize you are the tool to help others. That being said, you need to keep that tool well nourished, well rested and sharp. Going with little sleep and skipping meals cannot last over a period of time.

      As for your question of troubleshooting – Just be honest. Give them an approximate time. That’s OK..I’ve worked with people that gave me an approximate time and an approximate price. People are pretty much OK with that. As long as you give them an honest answer they will accept it. If not, they will have to go elsewhere and get the job half done 🙂

      I have reached out to people that needed to troubleshoot my blog and it may have taken several days…. That’s fine as long as I knew the person was sincere. And YOU are my friend.

      Glad you enjoyed seeing me trying to climb that tree ha ha

      Donna Merrill recently posted..The Power Of NOMy Profile

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