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为什么你应该学会说“不”

更新时间:2017-6-9 11:17:41 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why You Should Learn to Say ‘No’ More Often
为什么你应该学会说“不”

Humans are social animals who thrive on reciprocity. It’s in our nature to be socially obliging, and the word no feels like a confrontation that threatens a potential bond. But when we dole out an easy yes instead of a difficult no we tend to overcommit our time, energy and finances.

人类是因互惠互利而欣欣向荣的社会性动物。在社会交往中表现出乐于助人的一面是我们的天性,而“不”这个字眼感觉上带有对抗色彩,可能对潜在的关系构成威胁。

“The ability to communicate ‘no’ really reflects that you are in the driver’s seat of your own life,” said Vanessa M. Patrick, an associate professor of marketing at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. “It gives you a sense of empowerment.”

“说‘不’的能力其实反映出你是自己生活的主宰者,”休斯顿大学 (University of Houston)C·T·鲍尔商学院(C. T. Bauer College of Business)营销学助理教授凡妮莎·M·帕特里克(Vanessa M. Patrick)说。“它会给你一种变得强大之感。”

That’s why learning to say no comes in handy.

正因为如此,学会说不非常有用。

One technique is the refusal strategy. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research by Professor Patrick and Henrik Hagtvedt found that saying “I don’t” as opposed to “I can’t” allowed participants to extract themselves from unwanted commitments.

一个技巧在于拒绝的策略。帕特里克教授和亨利克·黑格特维特发表在《消费者研究》杂志上的一项研究成果显示,说“我不”而非“我不能”,有助于受试者摆脱他们不愿做出的承诺。

While “I can’t” sounds like an excuse that’s up for debate, “I don’t” implies you’ve established certain rules for yourself, suggesting conviction and stability. And since it’s personal, it also maintains the social connection humans crave.

“我不能”听上去像不像托词还有待商榷,但“我不”意味着你已经为自己设定了某些规则,给人以坚定稳妥之感。此外,由于是个人化的表达,它同样可以维系人类所渴望的社会联系。

I remember how, as a recent college graduate, I was short on a student loan payment because of this need for social connection. I didn’t say no to an overly friendly door-to-door magazine seller. I had a nice conversation with her but was out $30 (and the magazines never came).

我还记得自己刚从大学毕业时,因为对社会联系的这种需求而拿不出足够的钱去偿还助学贷款的情形。我没有对一个挨家挨户敲门拜访的过度热情的杂志推销员说不。我和她愉快地交谈了一番,但付出了30美元(且从未收到杂志)。

“We actually used the pushy salesperson scenario: selling magazine subscriptions,” Professor Patrick said. She and her colleagues asked some subjects to sell magazines and others to say no. When subjects said “I don’t” versus “I can’t,” they were more effective in getting their point across, and the sellers were more willing to accept their refusal.

“我们实际上借用了推销员卖力推销这个情境:让人订阅杂志,”帕特里克教授说。她和同事让一些受试者卖杂志,让另一些说不。当受试者说“我不”而非“我不能”时,可以更有效地让对方明白自己的意思,卖方也更愿意接受他们的拒绝。

There are a few other ways you can get more comfortable with saying no.

其他几个方法也有助于你自在地说不。

First, practice being more aggressive when the stakes are low. For example, when a cashier asks you to sign up for a store credit card you don’t want, try saying “I don’t use store credit cards” instead of a passive “Not today, but thank you,” which implies your decision is up for debate.

首先,在利害关系不大的时候,试着让自己的态度更坚定。譬如,当收银员让你办一张你不想要的店卡时,试着说“我不用店卡”,而非被动地表示“今天先不办,但谢谢你”,后者意味着你的决定是可以讨论的。

It’s a lot easier to be assertive with a stranger selling you something than it is when, say, your pleading co-worker asks for a ride to the airport. Get comfortable with your assertiveness when it’s easy so you’ll be prepared when there’s more pressure.

面对想要卖东西给你的陌生人,比起面对请你帮忙将其捎到机场的同事之类,拿出坚定的态度是一件容易得多的事情。习惯于在较为容易的情况下坚定地表明态度,有助于为压力更大的情况做好准备。

Second, it’s easier to say no when you know exactly how to say it, so come up with a few anchor phrases for different situations. “No, I don’t buy from solicitors” for door-to-door salespeople, for example. “No, I don’t go out during the week” for co-workers who want to go on a drinking binge on a Monday night.

其次,当你知道如何说不的时候,就会更容易地说出口,因此不妨针对不同的情况准备几种特定的说辞。比如,对上门推销者说,“我不从推销员手里买东西。”对想要在周一晚上出去豪饮的同事说,“我不在工作日出去买醉。”

When you have these phrases ready, you don’t have to waste time wavering over an excuse. And you start to develop a reflexive behavior of saying no.

当你知道了该说什么来拒绝,就不必浪费时间找借口了。你会开始形成一种说不的条件反射。

Still, sometimes we’re afraid to say no because we fear missing out. We want to take on new opportunities and adventures, so we say yes to everything instead. It’s what Shonda Rhimes and Tina Fey told us to do. But all of those yeses can lead to burnout.

不过,有时我们不敢说不,是因为担心错过。我们想抓住新的机遇和冒险的机会,因此便来者不拒。这是桑达·莱姆斯(Shonda Rhimes)和蒂娜·菲(Tina Fey)告诉我们应该做的。但所有这些“不拒”可能会导致最终的崩溃。

“We live in a ‘yes’ culture, where it’s expected that the person who is going to get ahead is the go-getter who says yes to everything that comes their way,” said Dara Blaine, a career counselor and coach in Los Angeles.

“我们生活在一个习惯说‘好’的文化中。在这种文化中,人们期待有望领先的人会积极进取,拥抱所有的机遇,”洛杉矶职业顾问和职业规划教练达拉·布莱恩(Dara Blaine)说。

“It’s when people learn to say no that I’ve really seen their careers take off,” she said.

“其实只有在人们学会说不的时候,我才真的看到他们的职业生涯起飞,”她说。

To combat the problem, it helps to understand your own long-term goals first. This way, you can say yes to opportunities that most reflect your values. Second, try to build free time in your schedule so there’s room for new, interesting opportunities you might otherwise overlook.

要解决这个问题,首先要搞清楚自己的长远目标。这样,你才能对最符合自己价值观的机遇说“好”。其次,要尽力在你的日程表中制造一些自由时间,让你有空间尝试自己在其他情况下有可能忽略的有趣的新机遇。

“I wouldn’t encourage someone who’s struggling to say no to everything,” Ms. Blaine said. “But I would encourage them to say no to something just to change the story, the story being, ‘I have to say yes to everything or I’m not going to make it.’”

“我不会鼓励境况不佳的人们对一切说不,”布莱恩说。“但我会鼓励他们对某些事说不,只为打破‘我必须对一切说好,否则就无法成功’的魔咒。”

Still, some commitments and obligations are difficult to reject. You can’t exactly tell your boss: Sorry, I don’t work past 5 p.m., ever. But there are ways to ease into the refusal. If your boss wants to pile on extra work, for example, you might suggest you’re not the best choice for that task because your plate is already full and you don’t want to sacrifice quality.

不过,有些承诺和责任的确难以拒绝。你不能一五一十地告诉老板:对不起,我下午5点以后从来不工作。但有一些方法可以让这种拒绝不那么刺耳。比如,如果你的老板想给你增加额外的工作,你可以表明自己不是接受这项任务的最佳人选,因为你手上的工作已经满了,而且你不想牺牲工作质量。

And if you’re worried that your no might seem threatening, don’t be. Research from Columbia University found that our perceptions of our own assertiveness are often unreliable. In mock negotiations, people who thought they were adequately assertive or even over-assertive were seen by others as under-assertive. So if you feel confrontational, there’s a good chance the other party doesn’t see you that way.

如果你担心自己的拒绝看起来有威胁性,不必这么想。哥伦比亚大学(Columbia University)的研究显示,我们对自己的坚决程度的感知往往并不可靠。在模拟谈判中,那些自认为足够坚定、甚至过于斩钉截铁的人,却被其他人看作不够强硬。所以如果你感觉自己表现出了对抗的态度,别人很有可能并不这么想。

Each person’s mileage is going to vary. But if you feel overcommitted, no is a small word that can remind you how much control you have over your destiny.

每个人的里程都有所不同。但如果你感觉自己承担的东西过多,“不”这个小小的词汇倒是可以提醒你,你对自己的命运有多大的掌控权。

“You have obligations,” Professor Patrick said. “But within the limits of your control, it’s about operating at the most optimal level.”

“你有责任,”帕特里克说。“但是在自己能控制的范围内,就看能否保持在最佳水平上。”

For most of us, that means living a happier and less stressful life, which is easier to do from the driver’s seat. Waiting for a nonexistent Vogue subscription while your student loan incurs interest? Not so much.

对我们大多数人来说,那意味着过一种更幸福、压力更小的生活,站在掌舵者的位置,这会更容易做到。在学生贷款还没还清时,去订一份不该订的《Vogue》杂志?这可不是什么好事。

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