Sometimes it can be difficult to be assertive and say “No” to everyone’s requests? But, there are just not enough hours in the day to appease everyone, and go after your own dreams. By saying “Yes” to everyone else, and putting our desires and hopes on the back burner, we lose our way. We all have people, things and situations in our lives that we do not want there. We feel powerless, but we are not. They take away our sense of self, our feeling of self-control and our peace of mind. We know this, so let us try to get some perspective on how to move forward.
We can only release ourselves to our own lives, to live in our own power, and to pursue our greatest potentials when we actively choose to make changes. Making changes means that we will not be able to please everyone and ourselves at the same time. We must choose.
We must choose what we wish to pursue. We must choose what we do not care about chasing. We must choose our own happiness.
The art of saying “No” to people, without hurting their feelings is an important skill to master. Saying “No” does not mean that you have to be rude, or impolite There are many polite, yet assertive, ways that you can tell people “No” when you need to.
We can never choose or dictate what other people will feel, say or do. We can however govern ourselves appropriately. We cannot always “delete” them, but we can hold them at arms length. We can set new boundaries. We can make new rules of engagement.
You are not powerless. And, you are never alone.
How to say “No” more often:
1. Later. “No” to now, but “yes” to doing it later on. “I am very busy at this moment. Perhaps someone else can help you. If not, I will have some time later in the day/ week/ month to help you out.”
This is a great way to say “No.” It is assertive enough to get the point across, but it is also positive and kind. You have been very clear with the person asking that there is no possible way you can do what they are asking at this moment. But, you have supplied them with two other, viable options: ask someone else to help, or to wait until I have the time to help out.
2. Situational. “No,” unless something changes. “I am very flattered that you have asked my help, but I am not currently in a position where I can take on this additional responsibility. Can we talk about this at another time if there is a change in either of our circumstances?”
This statement says “No” while still being very polite. You let them know how thrilled you are to have been asked, and at the same time being honest about how little time you have to commit to their request.
3. Definitive. “No!” “I really hate to disappoint you, but I am not able to do this. There is just no may that I can do that without overextending myself.”
With this statement, you have expressed your sincere regret for disappointing the person, but you have still been firm in letting them know that this is a solid “No.” Almost anyone can understand the concept of being overextended. And, this should also make them feel a little more sympathetic to the plight that you find yourself in as well. This answer is very kind and polite. Plus, it allows them to understand where you’re coming from. Who knows? They might even offer to help you.
4. Special case: Money! We have all seen money destroy friendships and strain family relationships. Just say “No” to loaning anyone money. “I really wish I could but I make it my practice not to loan money (or co-sign loans) to friends and family.”
Money is one thing that many people ask for from their friends and family. It presents a difficult situation since you do not want to insult them or hurt their feelings. This statement is a nice way to be assertive and say “No” while still being kind. You let them know that you wish you could loan them the money, yet you go on to explain why you will not. You make it clear that this is a firm practice you that you use with everyone, and that you are not just saying “No” to them personally.
By saying “No” more often, you allow yourself some breathing room, and opportunities to say “Yes” to things you really want to do, and to those things that truly matter in your life. Learning to say “No” in a pleasant tone of voice should not lose you any friends, but it will help you to set some useful boundaries so that you can enjoy your life, rather than just racing through it.
Life is a long series of choices. One of the main choices in our lives comes, I think, long before we enter high school. Do I plan to go to college? What is my career goal? What do I need to lay aside, stop doping, or begin to say “No” to, to get on track for my final destination?
This meant a lot less partying than my peers. A little more time in the books, and lots of planning.
Today, I choose to see myself as a treasure, and will value my time appropriately.
1. Do I ever feel like I am being used or taken for granted?
2. Do I acknowledge my worth?
3. What are some situations that I need to begin to say “No” to?
4. What is my main goal? And how will saying “No” free me to pursue it?