5 Ways To Finally Start Saying “No”
If you are a “people pleaser” like me, this article is for you!
It’s time to start exercising the word, “No.”
I have struggled with that word my entire life. Nothing is harder for me than saying this two-letter word; and in working with my clients, I find that I can confidently say that I am not alone.
Fear of saying this word is quite common.
So, why is it so hard to say no?
Well, there are several reasons. We think that if we say no, we will upset someone, hurt their feelings, or not be accepted. We also like to avoid creating conflict or ruffling feathers.
It can also be linked to the need to seek approval from others. This often stems from childhood and societal experiences that lead us to believe we could not be loved for simply being ourselves.
Often, as a child, we learned that the only way to earn love was by doing something or acting a certain way.
In addition, we find ourselves saying yes because we are scared that we will hurt our relationships or our reputation.
In reality, saying yes all the time can actually hinder those things. If our employer, friends, or family cannot respect us when we say no, then we really should think twice about the value of those relationships.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T SAY NO
The problem with never saying no is that we end up ignoring our own needs.
We can get away with saying yes to things we don’t really want to do once in a while. But if we never say no, we end up subconsciously holding resentment towards the people we always say yes to — this can create anger and lead to stress and anxiety.
If you find yourself always saying yes, start using one or all of the tips below to help you get better at saying no!
5 WAYS TO FINALLY START SAYING “NO”
1. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
Take a deep breath, and if your gut instinct is to say no, then just say it!
Don’t allow yourself to start creating excuses to help you say no. Just spit it out! The more you exercise your “no muscle”, the easier it will get.
2. UNDERSTAND THAT SAYING NO IS YOUR RIGHT
It is also your choice and allows you to be in control of what you want.
Remember that it is okay to say no. You do not need to feel bad about it. In fact, start to own your no by saying it lovingly but firmly!
3. REPHRASE YOUR NO
If saying no feels too harsh, you can always reframe it in a way that feels more comfortable for you.
For example, you can say something such as, “that is not going to work for me this time”. Or, “I’ve got too much on my plate right now”.
There are many different respectful and loving ways to say no. You just have to find the one that works best for you, and use it often!
4. DON’T OVERTHINK SAYING NO
Realize that more than likely the thoughts you have about how someone may react to you saying no is just a story you are telling yourself.
Sure, you may upset some people, but more than likely the majority are not even going to think twice about it.
Trust me on this one, I know from experience!
5. MAKE SPACE FOR THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU
Understand that when you say no, you open yourself up to the opportunities to say yes to things that really matter!
Practice only saying yes to the things that make your heart and soul sing — those are the things that will make the greatest impact on your life.
By practicing these five things, slowly but surely saying no has become a larger part of my vocabulary (and a more natural word to use). Hopefully, these tips will help you too!
I want to get one thing straight — saying yes is okay!
There are times I say yes when I would rather not. However, when I do, it is a conscious choice. I say yes, because in my heart, I feel like it is the right thing to do.
I no longer say yes out of worry that someone will think something negative about me.
Do you struggle with saying no? If you do, how are you going to start practicing saying no more often? Tell us all about it in the comments!