It’s a 2 letter word or a simple phrase. “No”, “Nope”, “No thanks”, “Not this time”. It’s so simple to say, but why do so many of us find it so hard?
Most of us have the desire to please others and it feels good to be wanted and needed. We think about other people’s needs, worry about what others want or think before we consider our own needs and wants. We are taught that saying “No” can be seen as rude and selfish. This then leads to us rarely doing things for ourselves and having pangs of guilt when we do. However, this can be very draining and have a detrimental effect on our health and well-being, leading to feelings of stress, worry, anxiety and in some cases, resentment. Of course it is far easier to say “Yes”, but is that really the healthy option for us?
It is important to listen to yourself, your needs and your wants. It is also important to set clear boundaries for yourself as without these, you’ll end up taking on more and more. You need to keep in mind that everyone is different with how much they can take on and manage. Just because your best friend can juggle several different things with ease, it doesn’t mean you will or should be able to do the same. Everybody is different and it doesn’t make you any less of a person if you just say “No”.
By learning to say “No”, you’ll start to find the time to do the things that YOU want and need to do. You’ll be less exhausted and stressed and without doubt, will start to feel better in yourself. It won’t be easy at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will get and the better you’ll feel.
Here are some tips on how to say “No”
• Practice saying the word “No” or phrases with “No” in it aloud……it really works!
• If saying “No” seems a little too daunting at first, try saying “No” to smaller things and gradually build it up. It won’t take long.
• Think before you say “Yes”. Take a pause before responding to the request rather than making an on-the-spot decision.
• Prioritise. Considered your time availability, other commitments that you have and things you want to do first before making any new commitments.
• Be honest and upfront when you say “No”. State your reasons for saying “No” but don’t go on about it and don’t start making up excuses. Honesty is the best policy.
• Try and remember that saying “No” to other people can actually mean saying “Yes” to yourself.
Remember, it’s OK to just say “NO”.