Is there really an art to saying no?
Saying “no” is really just saying “yes” with limitations. #communicationadvice #personalboundaries Click To Tweet
I do not know who originally penned that phrase but it is perfectly brilliant.
When we say “no” to something it does not mean that we will never do it.
In fact, what it really means is that right now, at this point in time, it is not the right course of action for us.
It is OK to say no, Furthermore, it is OK to admit that you do not have the time or energy for something.
After all wouldn’t it be better to refuse to do something than to do it halfway?
When we say “no” to one thing we are actually saying “yes” to something else.
When we choose not to work on a project that was offered to us we are leaving the time for another project. We are leaving time for a project that will nourish us better.
When we refuse to work with difficult people we are allowing ourselves the opportunity to work with people who are more aligned with our ideology. When we refuse an event we free up time for something else. For example, spending time with our family.
We must learn how to say “no” or we will actually block ourselves.
Research from the University of California in San Francisco supports this premise. They state that those that have a hard time refusing something actually are more likely to experience stress, burnout, and depression
When asked for your expertise, a great way to protect yourself is to simply ask for time to think about the offer that has been made to you. This tactic is especially useful if you are feeling unsure if this particular opportunity is the right opportunity for you.
If you do say “no” you will have respected the offer by showing that you have fully considered it. The added bonus is the time to think about how to refuse in a nice and diplomatic way.
Always remember not to burn any bridges.
After all, as you never know what the future may bring and when you may need that support system.
Decline the offer in a way that is understood avoiding soft phrases. I do not think I can will be much less respected than I am not able to make that commitment. Offer some idea, if possible, of other people that may be able to help. You will feel more confident when you offer some positives with your no.
A statement such as the following is strong, helpful and kind. It offers a no sandwiched between two beautiful slices of gluten free bread that are saying yes. It is a gracious way to show appreciation while protecting your own limitations.
Thank you for reaching out to me but I am not able to make that commitment. I do look forward to working with you in the future. In the meantime, I would be more than happy to make suggestions of someone who I trust. Perhaps you can touch base with them.
Honor them both and you will achieve amazing things.
What are your best tips for saying no?
Scroll down and let me know.
Elise Ho, Ph.D., D.N.Psy
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