Do you ever find yourself saying Yes when you should be saying No? Do you kick yourself for agreeing to something that you have no time or interest in doing? Are you resentful because you said yes when you should have said no?
Then it’s time to learn how to say no! This isn’t an easy thing, especially for people who like to please and take care of others. But it is a crucial skill in order to preserve your sanity and relationships. Like all new skills it takes practice, practice, and practice. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to saying no in no time!
Stop giving an automatic “Yes.” Instead take time to think about the request, your ability to do it, and your desire to do it. Sometimes we do things simply because we’re capable of it and not because we actually want to. Just because you can doesn’t mean that you automatically should! When you’re asked to do something try responding with these phrases to give you some time to think about your reply:
- “I need to check my calendar and get back to you”
- “I need some time to think about it”
- “I want to say yes but I don’t know if I can right now. Can I let you know later?”
The latter example works really well for people who are just starting the practice of saying no. It is honest (I want to say yes) while also giving you time (Can I let you know?) to come back and say no.
Will you feel resentful if you say Yes? If you have an inkling that you will be resentful by saying yes then you truly need to consider saying no. Resentment is a great indicator that you are doing something that feels unfair to you.
List the pros and cons of saying no. Ask yourself what would you gain by saying no? What would you lose if you said no? Then take a deep breath and make a conscious decision, not a “yes by default” but a conscious yes or no decision.
Of course we cannot always say no whenever we want to. If we did all relationships and work would cease to exist! But there are times when we can, and should, say no. How do you know when it’s time for you to say no? What do you do to say no? Share your comments!
Need support saying no? Register for our Every Woman group, held the first Thursday of each month, 6:00pm – 7:30pm.