The art of learning to say no

In Blog by Celine Redfield1 Comment


No is a complete sentence. ~Anonymous

Do you say “yes” to things before thinking about it and then end up resenting that you made that decision or totally flaking, because you have spread yourself too thin?
If you have any issues with people pleasing, being overly scheduled or drawing boundaries like many of us do, this article is for you. Here are 5 tips on learning how to say no in a kind and firm way.
1) Before saying yes, pause and breathe
I have noticed that when I want to help others or be able to show up, sometimes I will not pause before I say “yes”. This is a great way to get yourself into situations that you do not actually want to be in. When we work on being mindful of what we are doing and saying. (Which by the way takes practice and patience with yourself.) Then we say what we mean and mean what we say. The automatic yes train does not allow us to ponder what is best for us to practice self respect. Also on a nerdy note when you pause and breathe you are eliciting the relaxation response which signals to your body that you are safe and not in danger.

2) When some one asks you for something, learn to say” That sounds interesting, let me get back to you about that.”
This is a great practice to try. If you use this way of responding then you can take the time and space that you need to figure out if you want to do that favor or go to that show, party, movie, etc.. Basically it is a win win, you don’t come off as flakey or unavailable when you don’t show up for something because your actually pondering if this invite is what is best for you. It is like a polite way of saying maybe but shows that you are interested.

3) If you are clear about that you can not do something, just say “No, thank you.”
The other day a man asked me out while I was pumping gas. I used this line above with him. He took it well and stated, “Well you never know if you don’t try”. I wished him a good day and it was pleasant and kind interaction. In the past I would have made up a lie or given him an excuse and felt terrible. Now that I practice the power of No, it is much easier for me to state what I mean in a kind and loving way. It takes practice but you feel great after you are able to create clear boundaries. For all we all really want in life is to be loved and respected.

4) Remember that you can’t please everybody all the time
It is okay if you disappoint people because you say no to something. It is better to be clear about what you can and can not do before you make commitments. Then others do not have expectations that you are breaking and not showing up for. Being clear about what you can do in the beginning is respecting yourself and the feelings of the other person.

5)Sleep on it
If your not sure about a decision about something the best way to get clear is to journal, meditate about it and then sleep on it. Clarity comes from taking space from a decision. Then in a new day you can have a more clear view. This is why step 1 and 2 of this are important you need space from the situation become clear about what you want and not be swayed by others. After stating what you need, the person may try to changing your mind, Be firm in what is your truth and what you are capable of. Boundaries are for you to get clear about what you want and what you need.

No by Nathan Gibbs