Saying no gets easier the more you say it. It’s something that I’ve been working on for a while. Everything I share is stuff that I’m learning as well.
One of the first things about learning how to say no is boundaries. You have to know what your boundaries are. You have to understand what you will or will not put up with. You have to have a good sense of self-worth. Self-worth shows what your values are and how much you value yourself.
I learnt that when you start saying no, it’s uncomfortable. It’s challenging for you, it’s challenging for other people, and there is often a deathly silence when you finally do say no. Especially when you haven’t said it to that person before. It’s at that point where you don’t fill the silence. Just say, “Ah, no, thanks.” Then stop talking. Count to 100 silently in your head if you need too.
Stop talking and then let them talk. If you’ve been a people pleaser all your life, and suddenly you start saying “No, I don’t want to do that, I’m going to do this, I’m going to look after my needs,” People can become very uncomfortable. They may even get angry. Usually, the ones who do react badly are the very people who needed to hear your boundaries in the first place.
Tomorrow, or tonight, before you answer you usual ‘Yes’, to something you actually do not want to do, say either: “I need a minute to think about this” or ” I will get back to you shortly on this” or “ah thanks for thinking of me, but I will pass on that this time.”
Take a beat before you answer. Take a moment to think first.