The Art of Saying No

So you want to say no, but you don’t know how?

If you are unsure whether you should make others comfortable at your own expense, read last week’s post here

Many people don’t get early training in saying no or asserting yourself. That’s ok-but there’s no time like the present to start!

In the service of your health and emotional wellbeing, you must be willing to take the time and space you need to heal.

And that means being willing to choose to prioritize your peace of mind and energy and to reclaim your time. Giving yourself this permission can be the hardest part for some people.

Does this mean never help or be there for another person? Of course not!

But I will wager most of you are already well trained and adept in the art of putting others first.

Allow me to share a few of the phrases that make it easier for for me to protect my energy:

  • I’m so sorry to interrupt, but I’m going to have to hang up now. Talk to you later. Then hang up!
  • I really want to hear more about this, but I’m going to have to call you back (take a nap, get on to my next activity). Then move along.
  • I wish I could sign up, but I’m still healing/resting/receiving treatment.
  • I wish I could, but I can’t.
  • I’m not in a position to volunteer right now.
  • No thank you.
  • “No.” It can be a complete sentence!
  • I’d love to, but let me think about it. I’m still healing.
  • Do not raise your hand or sign your name if it’s not going to bring you JOY (or save an actual life).
  • Try to avoid giving long explanations that will tempt others to keep asking.

It’ s crucial to get used to the idea that you may not receive as much (or any!) praise and thanks for saying no.  Some people may even push back with annoyance or hurt.

But as you stop overcommitting, you are making space for joy, delight, and healing.  You are preparing for the moment that you can say YES and mean it.

It is your right and responsibility to keep setting limits on activities that drain your energy.

They may not thank you for saying no, but that’s OK!