When you think of saying no do you feel anxious or guilty? If you’re feeling uncomfortable you’re not alone! Maybe you say yes to avoid a hassle but deep down, you feel resentful – like you don’t really have a choice. So you keep saying yes, offering to help or pitch in whenever someone needs you. You wish you could stop but you can’t.
What about just saying no?
If you’re thinking…
“I can’t do that! My family and friends count on me. I have to say yes!”
“If I say no, isn’t that selfish?”
That may be true but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a choice. Imagine the freedom you’d feel if you could say no without hesitating…
Why We Don’t Say It
No. It’s a simple word, yet many are afraid to use it. Growing up with the belief that saying no is selfish doesn’t help. If that was drilled into you, I have one simple question. Does saying yes when you mean no work for you?
If your answer is no, then YAY!! You’re at the turning point and ready to do something different.
You’re tired of giving and it drains your energy. At first, giving feels great, like you’re the hero! But it gets old when you do it at your own expense.
You start getting angry and resentful. Sometimes, your kids pay the price because you’re too tired after helping others to be there for them. That can be an important wake up call.
The Benefit of No
Saying no isn’t bad or wrong. It’s simply self-care. Choosing what’s best for you and your family means choosing when to give and when to say no. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care. Your needs count too.
The ability to say no and be okay with it is the goal. This doesn’t mean you suddenly neglect family and friends. It means checking in with yourself and then decide. It means letting go of the guilty self talk like…
- If I say no that means I’m not a good person.
- I don’t have the right to say no.
- They can’t do it without me.
- Who else will help out if I don’t?
These are statement I hear everyday from clients, but are they really true? Challenge yourself! Ask yourself whose problem is it? If it’s not yours, then let it go.
The next step is how to say it! Here’s one of my most popular Facebook posts that shows you how.
10 Ways to Say No Nicely
- Let me think about that.
- Here’s what will work for me.
- Can I get back to you?
- That doesn’t work for me.
- I appreciate your asking but I can’t.
- I know this is important but I just can’t.
- Thanks but it’s not going to work out.
- That isn’t doable for me right now.
- Oh, I wish I could!
- I can help you find a solution?
Be pleasant and keep it short to avoid over-explaining. That leads to changing your mind and saying,
“The heck with it – saying yes just this once isn’t a big deal.”
If you’ve said that before (and let’s face it you have!) You end up choosing someone else’s needs over your own AGAIN! Letting yourself say no can be one of the most loving acts of self-care you ever do!
When you give yourself permission to say no, resentments decrease. You’ll feel more satisfied in relationships, and your self-esteem gets a boost because you’re honoring yourself!