Know When To Say “No.” Saying “no” to people or situations that are not healthy means you are not looking out for your well-being. In Couples Counseling I work with people who are not able to say what they really want to say to their partners to avoid conflict, hurting the other person’s feelings, repercussions, or whatever fear they may have about their relationship.
If you feel like you’re walking on eggshells around your partner, you may not be in a healthy relationship. Being able to initiate conversation, express thoughts and feelings, and ask for what you need and want is what a healthy relationship looks like.
Say goodbye to being a people pleaser and learn how to confidently say no to someone without feeling bad about it. It has a lot to do with being assertive.
Takers – Say “yes” to givers. Be a giver yourself. “Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who come to grab the fruit.”— Pinterest.com
Say no to takers:
- Recognize who’s a taker (they always ask or even demand things).
- Set ground rules and confront them (in a nice way).
- Stop giving to them until their behavior/mindset changes.
- Spend more time with givers like yourself.
1. Say it.
Don’t beat around the bush or offer weak excuses or hem and haw. This only provides an opening for the other person. Don’t delay or stall either. Provide a brief explanation if you feel you need to; however, don’t feel compelled. The less said the better.
2. Be assertive and courteous.
You might say, “I’m sorry I can’t right now but will let you know when and if I can.” This approach is polite, and puts you in a position of power by changing the dynamic. You’re taking charge, telling people you’ll let them know when and if you can. Another example, “I appreciate your asking me for help, but I’m stretched too thin right now to devote the time to be of quality help to you.”
3. Understand peoples’ tactics.
Many people and organizations use manipulation techniques, whether knowingly or not. For example, think about when you get a solicitation for a donation to a charity and there are forced options: “Would you like to donate $10, $20, $30, or X amount?” Another tactic: “Most people donate $20–how much would you like to donate?” This relies on social pressure.
4. Set boundaries.
5. Put the question back on the person asking.
This is highly effective in a work situation. Let’s say a supervisor is asking you to take on several tasks–more than you can handle. You might say, “I’m happy to do X, Y, and Z; however, I would need three weeks, rather than two, to do a good job. How would you like me to prioritize them?”
6. Be firm.
If someone can’t accept your no, then you know the person is probably not a true friend or doesn’t respect you. Stand firm, and don’t feel compelled to give in just because that person is uncomfortable.
7. Be selfish (in a good way)
Put your needs first. Not those of the person asking you for something. If you prioritize that person’s needs over yours, you’ll find your productivity will suffer and resentment will mount. Warren Buffett once said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.”
Make time for people that don’t bring you down. Stay away from toxic people. “It’s amazing how quickly things can turn around when you remove toxic people from your life.” — Robert Tew
How to say no to toxic people:
- Spend more time with people who share your values.
- Be truthful and let someone know you’re ready to move on.
- Find a mentor who’ll help you remove yourself from toxic people.
- Join online groups of like-minded individuals.
As a young woman, I had a difficult time saying “no.” I wanted everyone to like me and not to think poorly of me. In the long run I became a resentful and angry person. This lack of assertiveness and conflict avoidance made my parenting of my older children challenging as I never wanted to disappoint them. As it turns out they appreciate my forthcoming assertiveness in saying what I need to say. And that sometimes can be “no.”
To learn how to be more assertive and say “no” without feeling negative thoughts about yourself call me at (858) 735-1139.