As we embark on a new year and a clean slate, it is important to realize that when you say Yes to something- You are also saying No to something else.
Saying yes to another meeting at work may mean saying no to your family
Saying yes to the PTA Position may mean you say no to yourself
Saying yes to a project that doesn’t have the help it requires means saying no to another project – of possibly more significance.
When you are asked to do something, it is really helpful to acknowledge what you would be saying No to by giving a yes.
How often are you saying YES to other People and in turn Saying NO to yourself?
Saying No is Saying Yes to You
Learning to say NO is an essential skill in creating the life you really want
When you have the tools you need to say “no”, you can open the door to being, doing and having what you really want. However, depending on how hard it is for you to say “no”, you may also need coaching in order to incorporate this skill into your life.
I’m here to tell you that if you have a hard time saying “no”, you’re missing out on some of the best things in life, because you’re not getting the chance to say “yes” to what you really want. That’s one reason why having a life coach is such a powerful game changer.
At first glance, it might seem strange to not be able to say no. But for many people, the word NO is difficult to use regularly.
In our culture, kindness is a virtue. And we praise those who go above and beyond to help others. Turning down someone who needs a helping hand? That must be an evil person. But is it? If you ever struggle to decline requests, these say-no quotes will be a perfect reminder.
Why is saying no so hard?
We struggle to say no for different reasons. Yours may be one of the following:
- Fear of damaging your image
You want to be helpful, cooperative and kind. So you feel reluctant to turn others down. Deep down, you are trading your time and energy for approval.
- Fear of conflict
Harmony matters to you. In no way do you want to get into drama or fight. So you say yes to requests even when you don’t feel comfortable. And end up secretly resenting the situation or assignment
- The desire to prove your worth
Your boss asks you to take up a new project that is not your job. Because you don’t want him to portray you as incompetent or lazy, you unwillingly obliged.
- Not wanting to hurt others’ feelings
You are kind and generous, and it hurts to disappoint others. So you cover a coworker’s shift, drive a friend to the airport, or look after an ex’s dog – none of which is your responsibility.
These reasons can be summarized as the “nice person syndrome”.
Once we feel pressured to fulfill the expectations of others, we can be exposed to manipulation.
All of these scenarios are rooted in Fear or Lack of Confidence …
Honesty: Are you being honest with yourself and others? Then Only say “yes” when you really mean it
Honor yourself first, then give what you can! Not in a selfish or overindulgent way – but in a healthy “I love and take care of me” way. Making sure that your needs are met is your primary responsibility, then you can offer help when you can.
How to Say No:
Here are a few ways to make saying No to others and saying Yes to yourself a little easier:
Don’t Give Excuses-
Just say No, and don’t give a reason
No excuses are necessary- it just means you want to have the other person think something positive about you. You don’t have control over that anyway- so stay in alignment with you and your priorities.
Every excuse you make is like an invitation to ask you again in a different way.
No matter what excuse you offer, people who are determined to get you to say yes can come up with a way to invalidate it. By simply thanking people for their request and telling them that you can’t agree to it, you prevent them from arguing with you.
Offer An Alternative
If the person asking you for something is someone who you want to maintain a positive relationship with, you canoffer an alternative that satisfies their want while being something that is more preferable to you.
If someone wants you to collaborate with them on a project, introduce them to someone else who might be interested.
An eager young employee in your office offers to help you with an important project but you fear their involvement would slow down progress. Ask them if they want to work with you on a lower pressure project instead.
The goal is to offer a compromise that benefits both of you – so they don’t take offense to you saying no and you don’t feel guilty for turning down a request that would add unneeded stress to your life.
Be Kind, But firm – and repeat yourself if necessary
Whether or not you’ve already hired your own coach, here are some tips on how to say “no” effectively to almost anyone, including family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who nag, plead, bully, etc. You will need to practice them in order to master them.
Phrases to practice:
That just won’t work for me
Thanks for thinking of me, I can’t do that
I wish I could do that for you, but I simply can’t
I’m not able to fit that in
Thanks for the invitation, I am unable to come this time.
I’m honored, but I can’t do that
I’m not able to take this on
It doesn’t sound like the right fit for me
I don’t think I am the right person for that
I won’t be able to make it, I hope your event is super successful!