Learn how to say no, without feeling guilty, using the power of a positive no – a simple three step method that anyone can learn. Just keep on reading!
As a recovering people pleaser, I am guilty of saying yes when I really want to say no. In the past, I’ve even found myself thinking “no” and yet I still respond with a “yes”. Or, saying no but it’s accompanied with guilt (a lot of guilt) and the many reasons of why I had to say no.
So, why does this happen? Why do we say yes when we really mean no?
People pleaser’s look outward for validation, acceptance and love. Their self worth is all wrapped up in pleasing others. And although their pleasing tendencies are often perceived as kindness – that kindness comes at a huge expense to the pleaser.
People pleaser or not, stay with me. This tactical tool on how to say no without feeling guilty is sure to help you!
When you’re saying yes to everyone and everything, you’re left with very little time, energy and resources for yourself. Resentment starts to build. You feel burnt out. And, if you’ve been pleasing long enough – you may be totally disconnected with who you really are.
How do I know this? I’ve lived this. So, if this is resonating with you – I feel you. I became a people pleaser at a young age. I learned how to hold my true self back – my thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings, my wants, my needs – and become the person I thought people expected me to be. I altered my opinions and my behaviours based on what I thought others expected of me. Just call me a chameleon.
People pleasing has prevented me from expressing who I truly am. In turn, it has prevented others from getting to know the true me. It has left me feeling very disconnected from my true self and brought me to where I am today. For that, I am thankful. But, doing this work is not easy especially when you mastered people pleasing at a young age.
The price that you are paying to make everyone else happy is your own happiness. That’s a price I’m not willing to pay. And neither should you. You are not responsible for how others feel. It’s time we start saying yes to ourselves.
HOW TO SAY NO USING THE POWER OF A POSITIVE NO
A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about the incredible benefits of saying no and based on the response I thought I’d supplement that post with some tactical advice on how to say no without feeling guilty using the three step method from the book, The Power of A Positive No by William Ury.
Ury’s simple three step method teaches you how to say no the right way and in turn gives you the power to say yes to what really matters – your needs, your values and your priorities.
The Formula for A Positive No
Yes! + No. + Yes? = A Positive No
Yes! – Often when we say “No”, we start with a “No” which Ury says is the biggest mistake we make. We need to start our “No” with a “Yes” – our deeper yes. Ask yourself what need, value or priority are you trying to protect? This yes is to yourself. It’s all about protecting what’s important to you.
No. – This is the most difficult part – saying “No”. However, you want to give a clear unambiguous no. Don’t let the decision linger in your inbox or on your mind out of fear that they may feel rejected. Ury states that the secret is in respecting them, not rejecting them. People are more likely to respect our interest if we respect theirs. And, the easiest way to show respect when saying no is to listen and acknowledge the other person.
Yes? – The second yes in the formula is all about ending on a positive note. This yes is a yes to your future and to a mutually beneficial relationship between you and the other person. With this yes you want to try to turn the situation into something that works for both parties.
Yes! – protects what’s important to you.
No. – unambiguous no that sets a clear limit.
Yes? – an invitation to reach an agreement.
An Example of A Positive No
Let’s use my life as an example. I have set hours and days that I dedicate to working my business. So, let’s say my husband asks me to run an errand on one of the days I’ve dedicated to my business. Here’s what a positive no looks like:
“I would love to help you out. I’ve dedicated Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays to working my business (Yes!) so unfortunately, I cannot run the errand today. (No.) I am in town again on Tuesday and Thursday and could help you out then. Which day do you prefer? (Yes?)
That’s a real life example. It happens all the time (insert eye roll).
There you have it – a simple three step method for saying no without feeling guilty. I want you to make yourself a promise, okay? Promise yourself that you will say no to one thing in the next three days. I know you can do it!
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