Sunday, February 21, 2010
How to say NO, nicely!
As time passes I have found that I have become more self-centered. Not in a egocentric way, but in an assertive, grown up way. I know were my boundaries are and let others know where they are too.
I used to do things for people when I would have much rather not. I used to feel guilty if I had said no, giving a long list of reasons to justify my answer. I used to have this heavy dread in the pit of my stomach pulling at my conscience, and bringing up the childhood belief that, 'if you are good you must suffer'.
I am not totally 'cured' from the 'yes' illness, but I am finding it easier to say no and feel just a fleeting pang of guilt which I quickly dismiss and get on with my own life.
The trick to being a good no-sayer is kindness. Kindness to yourself and showing kindness towards the person imposing their wishes on you. If you kindly say, no, you leave little room for manipulation and guilt tripping from them. They can try but no, is short and sweet. If you want to be even sweeter say, 'sorry, no.' It doesn't matter what other words you dress it up with, as long as you don't add, 'I am busy, I won't be home, I've got an appointment, etc. Just say, 'no.'
Of course, there is room for negotiation, if you want(not if you are doing it out of guilt where you are defeating the point) but negotiate from what you can offer or are willing to offer.
Remember be kind to yourself and to the other person. If you say no, the other person may be upset, she may be annoyed with you, she may even hate you for being so selfish (their thoughts or your guilt?).
You can be kind to both yourself and the other person by negotiating on your terms if you want to help her out. If she disagrees, so be it, you offered what you are willing to do, you haven't said no, you have said no to her terms. She wants your help, so maybe she could practise being kind too!
I have found since being more of a no person I get more respect, on the surface at least. Who knows what is said behind my back. But what I have learnt is that people treat you how you allow them to treat you. If you want to be a doormat then you will have many willing people to fulfill your wish.
If you want to be respected, you have to show that you respect yourself. This does not guarantee that you will be liked, but hey! you can work on that too, by liking yourself a bit more.
Post also found in my blog