Woman have a real adversity to saying no regardless of how demanding their schedule is jugging family, careers and their personal life. The ‘yes train’ seems to be a learnt response and unfortunately this consistently contributes to our ever-increasing amount of burn-outs in busy woman across our nation.
By constantly burning the candle at both ends and trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations, we are likely to risk getting fatter, more unhealthy and more depressed. If you too struggle with saying no here are some helpful tips:
- Keep your response simple. If you want to say no, be firm and direct. Use phrases such as “Thanks for coming to me but I’m afraid it’s not convenient right now” or “I’m sorry but I can’t help this evening.” Try to be strong in your body language and don’t over-apologize. Remember, you’re not asking permission to say no.
- Buy yourself some time. Interrupt the ‘yes’ cycle, using phrases like “I’ll get back to you,” then consider your options. Having thought it through at your leisure, you’ll be able to say no with greater confidence.
- Consider a compromise. Only do so if you want to agree with the request, but have limited time or ability to do so. Suggest ways forward to suit both of you. Avoid compromising if you really want or need to say no.
- Separate refusal from rejection. Remember you’re turning down a request, not a person. People usually will understand that it is your right to say no, just as it is their right to ask the favor.
- Don’t feel guilty for saying no to your children. It is important for them to hear no from time to time so that they develop a sense of self-control. It is hard to negotiate adult life without this important skill. Rather than cave in to their protests, let them know who is in charge by setting boundaries.
- Be true to yourself. Be clear and honest with yourself about what you truly want. Get to know yourself better and examine what you really want from life.
The wonderful things is ‘practice makes perfect’ so once you get into the swing of things, you will start to seriously contemplate whether you really want to do something or not, rather than being stuck in the auto-pilot “yes”!.