How do you respond when someone makes a request you’d prefer not to accommodate? Do you find yourself saying yes, even though your authentic self wants to say no?
Here are some of my ideas, based on the Three Principles, you can use to make sure you don’t find yourself doing something you’d very much prefer not to do.
The question has just been posed. “Will you please do xyz?” Pause.
Was your immediate thought that you ought to say yes? How did that feel? Did it make you feel nervous, angry, stressed, etc.?
Stop. Take a deep breath. What is your intuition or innate wisdom saying to you? Probably it is saying no.
Saying “no” is hard for many of us. Guilt often comes into play. Whether this guilt has its foundation in religion, a proper upbringing, or a worldview that simply says “it’s not nice to say no”, we often recognise it and make decisions we’d rather not be making, based upon it.
You’ve made the decision, based on your intuition or innate wisdom, to honestly say “NO”.
Well, go ahead and say it clearly, and self-assuredly…in the mirror. Look yourself in the eye, and do it. Just say “NO.”
Say it like you really mean it, and then say it again as you would to whomever made the request of you. When you pretend you’re speaking to the person who made the request, does it come out differently?
Practice and experiment with different ways to say “NO” until you find one you’re comfortable with.
Then go, and say “NO.”
After you say “NO”, if you’re used to giving in to others, then guess what? After all that practice, you may just be surprised to find that they are not willing to accept it! They may push, rephrase the question, or make a new, not altogether different, request.
Be prepared for this! Know your boundaries – what ARE you willing to do?
If you are serious about saying “NO” then stick to your guns.
Tell the individual making the request that you would appreciate it if they respected your wishes, and ask them to refrain from pursuing it further.
You don’t have to justify your response. But if you are comfortable expressing your “reasons why” then do so speaking from your personal perspective.
Tips on how to say and not say your “NO!”
Saying NO in a quiet, unassuming voice is like a hand shake that is floppy and limp.
This is at the other end of the spectrum in how to say NO. Here are a couple of examples:
“NO. I’m not doing that rubbish. You’ve got to be joking aren’t you?”
“NO. I wouldn’t lower myself to do that piece of work”
This is the best way to say NO! In a firm, yet polite, voice say:
“No. I will not be able/don’t want to do that for you”
Also, if you want to say the reasons why, keep it short and sweet.
“No. I will not be able to do that for you. I will be having my hair done at that time”
- Use effective body language
When saying NO remember the power of non-verbal communications. Look the person in the eye when you say the NO. Shake your head at the same time as saying NO. Stand up tall. Use a firm tone in your voice.
Remember, if your nerve is wavering, you are perfectly okay to say, “Can I think about that and get back to you?”
Don’t be pressurised into giving an immediate answer, even if the delay is only a couple of minutes. It will give you some time to think it through and to gather your thoughts, connect with your innate wisdom. It will also give you some time to think about how you are going to say it, the words to use and your body language.
Practice makes perfect as they say!
Start to say NO more often when you feel it is right to you.
- You will feel much more confident and proud.
- You will find that practice makes perfect – the more you confidently say “NO” the easier it becomes.
- Others will respect your wishes and take you seriously the first time you say “NO.”
- You won’t find yourself doing things you never wanted to do in the first place.
- You’ll have more time to focus on the things you do want to be involved in.
- The list goes on from there…
So, if this resonates with you, and you would like to have a conversation about how coaching with me will work, get in touch today and we can arrange to have a chat to begin finding out where you think you are in your life and how I can serve you.
As Sydney Banks says, “ There is no end or limitation, nor are there boundaries, to the human mind.”
I really look forward to hearing from you soon.
Consultant, Coach, Author
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING