As women, we tend to have trouble saying no. Okay, maybe not so much with our kids. I spend a lot of my time telling them they can’t have something. However, it can be difficult to say no to other people and this is one of those life tips you need to develop.
Can you babysit for a friend? Will you help run an errand or two? Will you spend your day off setting up a party and hosting it? We all have people who expect the world and they don’t necessarily give it back in return. So, you need to start saying no to them.
I’ve read people say “no is a complete sentence.” It’s not really the case, though, is it? Just saying no is rude, isn’t it? After all, you want to keep the friendships or the bonds with family. Here are my three top tips for saying no to everyone in my life.
Remain polite the whole time
I don’t just say “no.” I try to find a reason. Sometimes, “No, sorry, that doesn’t work for me,” is the response I give.
After all, it would be tempting to tell those who ask over and over again for “favors” where to go. That’s not going to win you any friends. And while people will tell you to get away from those who are using you, those people may not realize just how much they’re asking or how much they rely on you.
The only time I give the short “no” answer is when the same people aren’t taking my gentle nos seriously.
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Remember your time is worthwhile
Don’t forget about how important your time is. We only get a set number of years. There’s little that we can do to change that. Just ask Oliver Queen in Arrow! So, we need to use that time wisely and in a way that suits us.
When you’re struggling to say no to anyone, think about what you’re losing because of that. Sometimes, giving your time is a good thing. There are times that you won’t mind doing a favor. In fact, you may even enjoy it.
There are other times when you just want to spend time with yourself. You may want to catch up on that book you’ve left to one side or watch a movie you’ve been looking forward to seeing. Remember your feelings matter and your time is worthwhile. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Let go of the guilt. Put yourself first for a change.
Practice in the mirror
You need to get used to saying no. Start off small, such as by practicing in the mirror. Tell yourself no, practicing it in different ways. Try it with different sentences or with different reasons until something comes naturally.
Once you’ve said no enough times to yourself, you can start practicing with other people. My husband knew that I sometimes struggled to say no to my writing clients, so he had my practicing with him. We found ways that felt natural and polite. This could work for friends and relatives.
Then take the time to practice with other people. Start with just one or two people who you say no to at a time. The more you get used to it, the more you’ll say no to others and get your time back.
What do you struggle with when it comes to life? Which life tips do you need? Share your thoughts in the comments below.