Are You Afraid to Say “No”?

Do you know what day it is?  It is WOOHOO Wednesday which means it is HUMP Day.  Today is when we take time for us.  Whether it is celebrating an accomplishment (large or small) or practicing some self-care or learning to step out of our comfort zone – it is all about becoming the YOU who YOU want to be.

The hardest word for me to say is “no”?  What about you?  I don’t mean the times when you have a scheduled conflict, I mean those times when you really don’t want to go or to do the requested task.  Do you get so anxious about saying “no”, you end up going against your better judgment and saying “yes” or just avoiding the conversation altogether?

I have been there more times then I care to count.  The proverbial people pleaser in me is learning to be more comfortable with the word “no”.  It could be because I am learning to “go for the no” in my business without taking it personally or maybe I am just feeling more confident in who I am.  Either way, I like the change.

Here are a few ways to help you when you really want to say “no”.

1. “Let me think about it.”

Sometimes, we’re just not sure we want to say “yes.”  Maybe it doesn’t feel right or it is a request you need to really think about.  Why don’t we just say, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” This may be tough at first if you usually say “yes” much too quickly and then end up regretting it.  This statement can and should then become a habit.  It will give you some breathing space to process the request and build the courage to be honest in your response. Then, if the answer is “no,” one of the next three statements can be your follow up.

2. “That’s not going to work for me.”

Whether it is a conflict in your schedule or a conflict in values, “that’s not going to work for me” is a boundary-setting statement.  Of course my problem is I usually follow it up with an explanation, but the truth is there is no need to explain.  This statement indicates your decision is about your needs and/or boundaries.  If the request can be negotiated, it lets the person know the only way to get a “yes” is for them to adjust the request to meet your needs.  If they really want you to do something, they will adjust and ask again.  Saying this statement takes some practice.

3. “I wish I could say yes.”

Are your riddled with guilt by saying no?  Are you afraid the person will be upset with you?  Yup, I tend to fall prey to all of those things.  So, when you feel bad about saying “no,” you could say this statement.  It lets the person know you want to be able to help, but you simply can’t.  Of course, this could also lead to some negotiating from the person requesting so be prepared.

4. “No.”

Again, every time you say “no”, it doesn’t require an explanation. Try a simple, “Thanks, but no thanks,”.  How many times has your “no”  turned into a “yes” due to a long explanation?  Why not try saying “no” then stop yourself from saying anything else. No really is a complete sentence – event if we don’t think so.

Remember when the situation arises where you need to say “no,” tell the truth and just say “no”.  You need to trust things will unfold as they should.

So, where are you saying “yes” way too often and as a result getting overwhelmed?   What is the worse case scenario if you say “no”?  Is it really as bad as we make it out to be in our heads?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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