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How To Say “NO”

Do you have a difficult time saying “no” to someone?  Some people make it very difficult to say “no” to.  After you say “yes” when you want to say “no,” how do you feel about yourself?  How do you feel in general?  For most of us, we don’t feel great about yourselves or the situation.

Many of us feel that saying “no” is uncaring and selfish.  Even if we don’t have the time to fulfill the request, we find ourselves agreeing to take yet another thing on or just plain don’t want to do it rather than say “no.”  Learning to say “no” is a very important skill to learn and use for yourself.  Please remember it is NOT a bad thing to do.  Actually, it is a very caring, loving thing to do for yourself and others.

So, how do we say “no” and still food good about ourselves?  Here are some “how to” tips:

1. It is important to remember that saying no is a choice, not a requirement. In any situation, you have the choice to either say “yes” or say “no.”  Because saying no is as much of a choice as saying yes, that means they are both good and acceptable answers.

2. You think of yourself as a person of integrity and honesty. You take pride in being known as a person who gets things done when they make a commitment and won’t let anyone down. You can’t say no.  Oh, absolutely, yes you can. To be a person of integrity and honesty means saying no sometimes. Saying no simply means that you want to stay true to the commitments you have made.  We can’t nor should do it all.  We shortchange ourselves and the task we’ve accepted.

3. Remember and keep your priorities in forefront in your mind. Priorities are the highest things we have in our life.  Priorities play a large role in the decisions we make and whether to say yes or no to a request. Saying no to the things that are not on your priority list is acceptable.

4. Empower yourself!  Empowerment is the process of increasing the capacity of an individual to make choices and to transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes.

5. To free yourself from the guilt associated with turning down a friend or family member, keep in mind that by saying no you are voicing your opinion, standing up for rights and becoming the boss of your life. Affirm this fact every morning. It’s better than asking yourself how you got into so much by saying yes all the time.  No one can make you feel bad without your consent.  You owe it to yourself to say no when you want.

6. Saying no is not a sign of weakness. It is actually a sign of strength. It indicates that you know your own strengths, abilities and limitations. If you don’t want to say no, then learn to say ‘not right now’ instead.

7. Compare how you feel when you say yes to something and want to do it to when you say yes to something and really wanted to say no. When you do something because you really want to, you will have positive feelings and outlook on fulfilling your promise. If you said yes and wanted to say no, your feelings are going to be different. Perhaps these emotions come to mind: frustration, anger, resentment, and stress. Do you want to feel positive or negative? Go with your gut.

8. Being assertive by saying no is not a negative trait and is not a form of confrontation or disrespect, as some people may think. It shows that you have self-respect and self-esteem and that you know you are not responsible for everybody and everything.

9. You should never feel bad about saying no to being asked to do something which conflicts with your values or morals.

10. When you need to say no to a request, it’s fine to give an explanation. Perhaps you don’t feel you have the skills, time or resources to complete the request. And saying no because I need time for myself is perfectly fine too. Feel good knowing that you were honest and up front with the other person.  Additionally, you don’t owe anyone an explanation.  No means no.  You don’t need to expand.  With a great deal of explanation, some people will use this information as opportunity to show you how, in fact, you can and should say yes.

11. Minimize the stress involved with saying no by smoothing out the transition by using these three easy steps: (1) acknowledge the request (‘Thank you for thinking of me.’); (2) convey your circumstances (‘After reviewing my calendar, I don’t have the time’); (3) minimize the saying of no (‘Maybe next time’ or ‘Have you considered?’).

12. Saying no can allow you to try new things. Just because you have always helped plan the company picnic does not mean that you have to keep doing it forever. Saying no can free up time for you to pursue other hobbies and interests.

13. Remember that yes is not always going to be the best answer. If you are already over committed, you have a much better chance of getting sick, tired and irritable, which won’t benefit anyone else either.

14. Just because you say no doesn’t mean someone won’t like you.  If that is the case, then the person isn’t someone that is healthy in your life anyway.

Many times, saying no to someone or a request is saying YES to YOU!

Believe In Yourself,
Cathy, CLC
Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach
Certified Back On Track Facilitator

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