Think about it, when someone asks you to do something and you can’t or frankly don’t even want to...what do you say? I’m guessing that the answer is “Yes.”
I know this all too well because I used to be a “Yes” woman. Every time, without fail. My mind was telling me nooooooooo but the words rolling off my tongue were yes.
Truth is - Saying “No” feels messy.
Of course you don’t want to say no out of genuine care - “I want to be helpful. Nice people don’t say no.”
Then there’s the guilt - “I should be a good person” or “I should say yes because they did x for me.”
Sometimes it’s being the savior - “They need me and if I don’t do this, their life will fall apart.”
So you sacrifice your own life to satisfy someone else’s perceived needs. Initially, you feel good about saying yes, often because of the positive response it elicits from the asker AND not having to feel awkward by saying no. But, then you remember that you’re already overwhelmed with so many other responsibilities.
You feel stuck: you’ve already said yes but have no time or energy to do what was asked.
And that’s when the most extreme feelings creep in - Anxiety, Overwhelm and Resentment.
Sound familiar? Breathe this in for a moment because we’re not talking about something rosy right now. Saying no is a super taboo subject. But I want to share an insight with you…
Saying “No” means saying “Yes” to something else.
Think about it - What do YOU want to say “Yes” to? More time? Less stress? Energy to share with those you really love?
When I made this change in my life, I started finding I had more time, more energy and more love in my life. More love for me and everyone around me.
Still weary? Are you saying, “Shazia - I don’t wanna be a jerk. Seriously. You don’t understand my situation, there is no way I can say no without being a (perceived) bad person.”
Look - no one wants to be a jerk (except Donald Trump). In fact, people who say “No” are actually being kind and here’s why… When you say no, it lets the other person know clearly what they are getting. Have you ever been in a situation where someone said yes out of obligation, then didn’t do it and you were scrambling in the end for a fix? Would it have just been easier if they had said no so you could have planned ahead?
Or how about when someone helps you and holds it over your head until the end of time? You would have been on your merry way just having taken care of it yourself.
Saying no is also kind to YOU. You can get time back for what is important to you and that is saying yes to someone or something else that is more valuable. And get this, a more happier you is a more happier everyone around you.
So how can Say No, you ask?
Here are two tips for saying "No" delicately and clearly.
- Say no and offer an alternative of what you CAN do. If you say, ‘Oh I would have, buttttt’...then the person can ask you for something else that puts you in another awkward situation. Instead thank the person for thinking of you and say, “While I can’t do X, I can help you with Y.” Include what you can do, even if it feels small. What we think is small could be huge for the other person!
- Say “No.” That’s it. No weird, awkward explanation of why, just a “No/I can’t” will suffice. Hold the awkwardness...it’s short lived, I promise. Then you and the other person are on the same page. It actually makes everyone’s life easier to know instead of wondering what’s actually being said.
To a Life Beyond Measure,
The Life Engineer
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