6 Things To Know About Saying 'No'
Why do we say 'yes' when we really want to say no?
Quite simply, we don't want to disappoint others and let them down. Our fear of conflict and our desire to keep the peace keeps us from telling our truth. We want people to like us and we feel uncomfortable when they don't.
As a result, we often end up doing things we don't want to do, like going to that one year old's birthday party, or attending the Doterra Oil evening, or meeting the friend for coffee that you know is going to talk non-stop for an hour about her problems, or the fundraiser for the local school etc...
And here comes that favourite quote of mine ... 'When you give to others, to the degree that you sacrifice yourself, you make the other person a thief. They're stealing from you and they don't even know it.' (Course in Miracles)
We've all been there - feeling a little resentful because we said YES when we really meant NOOOOO!
Because it is tricky to turn down invites to lovely events with family and friends whom you really like (or love) here are 6 ways to make it a little easier.
1. Start by getting clear on your Absolute Yes list and your Absolute No list.
When you're clear about your no list, it's much easier to say 'no' when an invite pops up. It's not just about invites either, this is a good list to get clear about for saying no to a lot in your life. Because when you say no to something, you are saying yes to yourself.
Some Absolute Yes things for me are; time with my nieces (I would literally drop everything to spend time with them), coffee with my closest friends, weddings, exercise, dinner in a restaurant, a movie, brunch, trip to the markets etc. They are things I love to do with people I really care about.
Some Absolute No things for me are; baby showers, being asked to run a marathon with a friend, social gatherings with surface chit chat, loud rock concerts listening to an artist I don't really like, responding to parents via email in the weekend, working on a Saturday (unless it's report reading time), setting the alarm on a Sunday, answering the phone during a meal, going to a meeting/event that will require me to sit in Auckland traffic for over an hour etc.
Come up with your own list and live by it.
2. If you need to, put space between the request and your response.
We do not have to give a response immediately. If your intuition is saying 'no' but you feel uncomfortable saying it, buy yourself some time.
For example "Thank you so much for the invite, let me think on it as I need to check my diary and see if I'm free. I'll get back to you in the next couple of days."
3. Check in with your Intuition
Once you've bought yourself some time, check in with yourself about how you feel about saying yes. Is it something you really want to do? Would saying yes to the request/invite bring you joy and fulfillment? Sometimes it may be something you're not thrilled to do, but you know it is important for a relationship. For example, a friend wants to pick you up on Saturday and take you dress shopping for a wedding she has coming up. You're not thrilled to be spending a good part of Saturday shopping, but the time with the friend means a lot to you and you want to fulfill her request. If it feels right, then go for it.
4. Say no with grace
Just because you are saying no and putting yourself first, doesn't mean it can't be said with kindness and grace. Our intention is not to upset anyone, it's about taking care of ourselves, our time and our energy. Tell the truth directly, plain and simple. "Thank you so much for inviting me. I can't make it this time, but I hope you have a really great time."
5. Do not Over Explain
The less words the better, otherwise you'll end up undoing all of your work.
6. Say it Often
The more often you say 'no' to the things you don't want to do, the easier it will become.
I've got to a stage in my life now where I comfortably say no to things I don't want to go to or do. It's never easy and I don't like doing it, but I have to put my own well being first to be the best version of myself.
Go get started on your lists!