Understanding why it’s so important to get comfortable saying no to people and tips on how to use “NO” as an effective tool to boost confidence.
Guest Post by Jessie Page
Do you ever feel like you have to say yes to someone just so you don’t feel guilty? You say yes because you know you’re going to get that anxiety build-up that comes with letting someone down. Saying yes can put us into situations we don’t want to be in and it’s all because we feel like we can’t say no.
You Can Earn Respect Just By Saying No
Learning to say no is a challenge but it is not unachievable. You can earn respect from yourself and from others when you finally put your foot down and just say no. They might be shocked, to begin with, but trust me, they will get over it. They might even admire you for having the courage to step out of your comfort zone and say no to someone.
People pleasing can end up being a chore especially when you’re bogged down with a whole bunch of tasks and jobs you wish you never agreed to in the first place.
You end up having no time for yourself and start to become overwhelmed. People know you always say yes, so they just keep asking you and the cycle continues.
When you’re an easy target,
you always end up getting shot!
So, how do we say no to someone when we feel like we have to say yes to their request? The first step to learning how to say no is learning why we feel the need to always say yes.
Reasons Why You Can’t Say No
No matter what you do, someone is always going to judge you or think less of you even when you’ve done nothing wrong. So, the trick is, to be yourself, and put yourself first.
Don’t be scared to say no because you’re scared of what people may think.
There could be a few reasons why you feel like you can’t say no:
- you feel guilty when you say no to someone
- you don’t want to upset the person asking
- you don’t want to let people down
- you think you will get in trouble if you decline
- you think you will lose your job (if it’s being asked at work)
- you think you will lose a friendship
Sure, these things may happen, or they may not. Most of the time – they don’t happen but the fear of them happening stops us in our tracks and we give in.
WELL, I’M SAYING NO MORE!
No more people-pleasing. No more doormats AND ESPECIALLY no more being used.
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Easier Ways To Say No
You’re probably thinking, okay, that’s nice and all, but how do I say no without pissing someone off?
- Say no FIRMLY – You need to say no firmly. A simple “no, sorry I can’t. I don’t have the time” or something similar is sufficient. They are asking YOU for help, you don’t need to apologize over and over just for saying no.
- Buy some time – Buy yourself some time to think. You can say something like “I will get back to you”. Don’t say “yes” straight away. Give yourself some time to think if you truly want to do this task that someone has asked of you.
- Pair a positive with your rejection – Before you say no, give the asker a positive outlook, so they aren’t left feeling negative towards you. You could say something like “that sounds like an awesome opportunity, but I just don’t have the time to help”.
- Deflect – Ask the person what they would say in this situation. Would they do the task themselves if they were asked? Would they do the task if YOU asked them?
- Offer an alternative – Do you know someone else that may be able to help? Or could you help, not now, but later down the track. Offering the asker a solution is often just as good as doing the task yourself – this is a good tactic in the workplace.
- Know your reasons – Are you saying no because you have prior commitments, or perhaps you are saying no because you want some time to yourself. Knowing your reasons will help when you need to say no because you can quickly say, “no sorry, I have plans that night with such and such”. Some reasons might not be valid to the asker, so be careful when using this tactic. They could pull the “Aren’t I important enough” card on you and then you’re going to get that feeling that you need to say yes.
Realising Your Worth
Saying no is your right. The asker is asking you for help, not the other way around. Of course, this is not true in all situations, such as a workplace but you must set boundaries and stick to them.
People will always try and take advantage of your kind heart and willingness to help, but don’t let it drain you. Don’t let people take you for granted.
You should fill your calendar up with tasks for yourself first and then if you have time, you can help others too.
Often you will find that the person will try and nag you after you have said no. Or you might have done this task for them before but you can’t now, and they are saying things like “you did it last time” or “aww come on, it will only take a few hours”.
This is where you need to buckle down and stick to your guns.
Start practising ways to reaffirm your answer –
“I said no.”
“I don’t have time.”
“I am already doing something else that day”
Practice Always Makes Perfect
Practice makes perfect and the only way you’re going to gain the confidence to say no is by practising.
You can try it with simple things, to begin with until you are ready for the big test.
Remember, you are allowed to say no. You are not obliged to do anything you don’t want to.
So, just before you go, can you help me with my …?
I hope you screamed internally NO!!
About the Guest Author:
Jessie Page is the creator of The Write Jessie. Her mission is to support and aid people who suffer from mental illness. The website provides tips and strategies to assist mental illness sufferers in their struggles with everyday routines and suggests new and creative ways to help cope. It is also a place where friends and family can learn about mental illnesses and how best to support their loved ones.
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