How To Say No
Why is it so difficult to say no?
If you’re anything like me, your mind is telling you to say no, but your lips are seemingly controlled by some unseen ventriloquist who is determined for you to say yes. It’s a bloody nightmare, as we then end up over-booked, over-stretched, and just…well…over it! We need to learn how to say no.
So why is it so difficult? Personally, I suppose Ive always been a bit of a people pleaser. I hate the thought of disappointing others and this is a challenge that many of us go through constantly. It’s exhausting. From the outside looking in, its a lovely personality trait, but when it impacts on your own health, needs or self worth, then it’s time to draw the line.
So next time, before you rush in with a ‘yes’ think about these things:
Remember that saying ‘no’ doesn’t mean you’re being rude, selfish or unkind. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person.
Remember that you are your most valuable asset. You need to look after that asset and treat it well.
Remember not to base your own self worth on other people’s approval of you. Approve of yourself and your own decisions. You are wonderful, even with your flaws, mistakes and regrets. We are all only human.
Remember you have the right to say ‘no’, and you shouldn’t be afraid of letting other people down at the cost of your own health and happiness.
And here’s how to say no:
Be direct and assertive. It sounds daft, but practice saying ‘no’ when you’re home alone in front of the mirror, or dog, or even the kitchen cupboard.
Don’t apologise and give all sorts of reasons as to why you can’t do something. There’s absolutely no need to beat around the bush and justify exactly why you’re saying no.
Don’t lie. Lying will most likely just lead to guilt. If you’ve had a hell of a week and would much rather lie in bed watching Netflix than go to a party, then say so. Don’t feel you have to invent an ailing relative that you have to look after.
Remember it’s better to say no now instead of feeling resentful later. If you don’t want to go to the party, say no in the first place and save yourself wasted time in thinking of ways to get out of it later. We all hate those people that drop out at the last minute and muck up seating plans, so just bite the bullet in the first place.
Be polite. Say ‘thanks for asking, but no’ or ‘I appreciate your time, but no thanks’ or ‘I’m really not into [thrash metal/crochet/Pokemon Go] but thanks for asking’…you get the drift.
Don’t say ‘I’ll think about it” if you don’t want to do it. It’ll just prolong the agony.
Provide an alternative. Particularly useful at work if you’re too busy to take something on that you might want to do later. Just say ‘I wont be able to help this time, but Im happy to take a look next month’.
Pass the buck. If you rally haven’t got time to make cupcakes for the school bake sale, then offer forward the name of someone who can. Maybe check with them first though!
And if all else fails, and you just cant bring yourself to say no, you can of course move house, change your email and block all calls!
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