I know this is a hard one for most people: Just Say No!
We’re asked for our help throughout the day – people asking for things, your time, your energy, your attention, your praise, your agreement, your advice. You’re asking the same things from others. It happens everywhere – at work, at home, and even on the street with complete strangers. And that’s how it goes in life – you give and you take. But saying yes every time someone needs your help can drain you of energy and even your happiness. Saying no is an essential tool for your health and well-being. Here are the benefits of saying no and, because it is hard to do, tips on how to say no tactfully and guilt-free.
Here’s what saying no will give back to you:
- More energy. Not only will you be saving energy, the fact that you are now in conscious control will add extra energy.
- More time. There are only 24 hours in a day, but from now on, more of them are for you.
- More confidence. Saying “no” to others can often amount to saying “yes” to yourself. This is a back-handed “I love you” to the most important person in your life. Take it as a compliment and feel good about it.
- More control. Saying “no” means you are behind the steering wheel and can go wherever you want.
- More respect. You’ll respect yourself more and so will others. They might not like you as much, but if they were trying to step over your boundaries before, they probably didn’t like you much anyway – not really. At least you’ll have their respect when you show them your clear, no-discussion limits.
- More fun. Yes, life is here to be enjoyed. When you stop working for others, you start working for yourself and start fitting in the fun.
If you need help, consider these steps:
How to tactfully and purposefully say no
- Start to notice. Notice that you are being asked to do things all the time by almost everyone with whom you interact.
- Get a life plan. There’s no way to check if things fit with your life plan if you have no life plan. And if you have no plans and goals, other people will be happy to make them for you.
- Say no to all of it. Well, not all of it, but 95 percent — right off the bat. Tell people you are too busy right now.
- Consider. Then take the time – about five seconds — to consider the top 20 percent of those requests to see if they fit with your life. If so, say “yes.” By taking your time, you aren’t reacting with a people-pleasing monkey brain and can sincerely consider the importance of requests.
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