Are you a people pleaser? Do you say YES when you really want to say NO? Do you overextend yourself because you’re afraid that you might disappoint someone? Do you resent always saying YES? I know I did. I even had a difficult telling friends where I wanted to eat dinner. My answer was, “I don’t care. You decide.” Are you aware that no IS an answer?
As I reflect on my life – I’m getting more and more clear about why I spent so much time in frustration. I was afraid of not being liked or worse…losing a friend because I had an opinion! It’s almost inconceivable to me now that this was me – the OLD me…but me nonetheless.
Learning to say NO changed everything.
Yes is exhausting! Yes gets in the way of living a life that works for you!
If you’re a people pleaser you’ll relate to what I just shared about myself. You have to get comfortable with asking for what you want or need and saying no – because no is an answer.
First and foremost you are NOT the only person who has a hard time saying no. In fact, most of us struggle with no and there are a lot of reasons why:
1. You want to help because you’re a kind soul and you don’t want to reject anyone.
2. You want to be agreeable. Somewhere along the line you were taught to always be agreeable.
3. You think saying no is rude. No one wants to be rude.
4. Fear of conflict or confrontation. There are ways to say no without conflict. Want to learn how to quiet your inner critic? I have a free gift for you..
5. Fear of consequences. In a nutshell, you’re not sure why you say no, but that inner critic that lives in your head has convinced you that there will be consequences and possibly serious ones if you say no. For example: In the workplace you do all the extra work because you’re afraid that if you say no (politely) you’ll lose your job. It’s that serious.
Saying No doesn’t mean any of these things. Armageddon will not happen if you say no, especially if you learn HOW to say no. Let’s get started.
Remember you always have the prerogative to say no.
Fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real and FEAR is what’s guiding your inability to say no.
Here are 5 simple ways to say no without offending anyone.
1. I’m not able to do that right now because I’m in the middle of “X” project. I have a deadline and I need to meet, but I’d be happy to help you in the future.
2. I can’t commit right now as I have a previous engagement or I have other priorities that I must attend to.
3. Gosh…I’d love to join you, but…then say exactly what you have to do. It’s kind and encouraging and maybe you would love to…but you just can’t right now.
4. I’m not certain if I can at this moment. May I get back to you by (give a date)? This gives you time to figure out your schedule and evaluate your needs.
5. No. I can’t. Wow! What if you were just stated the truth? We build up so much resistant to just being honest and then we end up weaving stories because we’re so afraid. You can always say…No, I can’t because I have to do such and such.
And finally…this is not about saying no, but rather offering your input about something as simple as where to go to dinner; please try once or twice to say what it is that you want to do. Offer up something besides, “I don’t care.”
People who don’t care almost always do and then end up feeling resentful for not being not having their needs met. Don’t let this be you.
Let go of the fear and just speak the truth. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to always say YES.
Your Challenge: Practice saying NO several different ways that sound like you. I recommend you practice so you’re comfortable with even uttering those words.
Know someone who needs to learn the art of saying no? Share it and reap the good karma that comes from sharing.
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