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Now, on to this week’s topic…
Such a small but powerful word.
But it is not always easy to say.
There is however some things that I have learned to do to make the saying no habit stronger in my own life. So I can use more of my time, energy and life for the things that truly mean the most to me.
Kindly disarm and then state your need.
It becomes easier for people to accept your no if you kindly disarm them first. You could for example do that by saying that you are flattered and that you appreciate the kind offer.
And be honest about whatever you say.
Then you can, for instance, add that you do not have the time for accepting and doing what they want.
State how you feel about it.
Some pushy people might want to overcome your objections and sell you something or convince you to do something even if you first say no with a valid reason.
Then try this: state how you feel as a reason for saying no.
For example say that you do not feel that this offer is a good fit for your life right now. Or that you feel overwhelmed and superbusy and so you cannot do whatever they want. Or that you feel you truly have to keep all your focus on your main project right now.
The point of telling someone how you feel is not only to make them understand your side of the issue better but also that it is a lot harder to argue with how you feel rather than how you think. How you feel is your thing and no one can really come up with good counterarguments to that.
Improve your self-esteem.
If you don’t value yourself then you won’t value your time very much either.
This has been very true in my experience and the most powerful thing I have found to make it easier to say no was to improve my own self-esteem.
With better self-esteem the time and the energy I have has become a lot more valuable to me and I do not want to waste it.
And my sense of what I deserve in life has also gone up and am much less tolerant of or likely to give in to other people’s negative ways of persuasion. Like guilt-tripping, being really pushy or simply trying to take advantage of me.
Remember why you are saying no.
When you are about to say no then remember why you are doing it.
Focus on the positive things it will open up in your life such as more time for your family, for your writing or other hobby or simply for relaxing so your stress levels will go down.
This positive motivation will help you to go through with your decision even if it feels tough.
The world will go on.
If you have trouble saying no remember that just because you say no to something doesn’t mean that the world will stop.
They will manage and life will go on for all of you.
Celebrate and analyze your successes.
You may not be able to say no to everything you’d like to say no to in your week. Even if you use the advice in this article.
Don’t put too much focus on those few situations though. It will only bring your self-esteem and motivation to cultivate the no-habit down.
Instead, focus mostly on your successes. You may just have said no in one or a few small ways this week. That is still something new and great in your life so feel good about it. Pat yourself on the back and celebrate in some small way what you have accomplished and how you have grown as a person.
And think a bit about what went well in those interactions and what you can learn from them for the future.