Do you sometimes find it hard to say no to people? If so you're certainly not alone.
Over the past 25 years, so many of my therapy clients have told me the same thing.
They're fed up giving away their time and energy. Often they're taken for granted, and sometimes even disrespected,
So they've tried setting better boundaries, saying no, and being more assertive.
But then each time a situation arises and someone asks them to do something, they open their mouth to say 'no' and ...
... well you guessed it, the word 'yes comes' out!
I think we've all been there!
Learning to say 'no' is an art form that anyone can learn.
It's all part of being more confident and assertive - and that happens on many levels.
That's why I wrote my second, much-loved, book: How Kind People Get Tough.
The book is packed full of case studies, and tips and techniques on how to be more confident and assertive - which means you get to have really great relationships and a successful and happy life.
If you want to find out more about the book and all the resources that go with it - go here.
In the meantime, let me share 3 of the 'saying no' tips from the book.
Like many of the methods I teach, they're super simple, yet very powerful:
1. Stop telling yourself that you can’t say no
If you keep telling yourself something it reinforces the belief that it must be true. Next time you catch yourself saying, or thinking
I’m not good at saying 'no' - do the following:
Don’t try to push that thought away because resisting it will only make it stronger. Instead, notice the thought and follow it up with another thought - something like:
'Up until now I haven’t been good at saying ‘no’, but I’m learning how to get better at it'.
2. Learn to Shut up!
Sometimes communication is simply about handing someone a message. Full stop. They may come back with an opposing point of view - but letting go of the need to engage in conversation about it is very powerful indeed.
If you’re clear in your mind about your 'no', you only really need to say it once, possibly twice.
Then say no more!
It will give the person time to process it.
If you need to come back and say it again another day, do so. But don't keep repeating and explaining yourself.
3. Practice With Transferable No’s
If you find it difficult to say 'no' to a specific person, or in specific situations, start a practice of saying 'no' to smaller things.
I’m not suggesting you stubbornly say ‘no’ to every little request, but consider those times when you automatically say ‘yes’ where you could have said ‘no’.
As you practise your small ‘no’s, your subconscious will get used to the idea that saying ‘no’ is an okay and normal thing to do. Then when something important comes up you'll find it much easier to speak that little word.
These are simple tips but start practicing them now, and you’ll see a big difference in your confidence, your relationships, your success – all of your life!
And if you're wondering why I used an image of an elephant for this post ... well they say elephants never forget, and I know that once you learn these great skills, you'll never forget them!
As always to my lovely community, much kind love 🙂
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