Learning to Say “No”……. Lifestyles by Estelia
This post is for all my “people pleaser” readers. You know who you are. Remember the time a friend called asking you to serve on the board of a non-profit agency? She said you were a perfect fit – your leadership skills are just what the organization needed. How could you refuse? Research shows when people are asked to help or do a favor, whether it’s to donate money, fill out a survey or even let a stranger use a cellphone, many people say “yes” because saying “no” would make them feel even more uncomfortable. This is especially true when people have to give their answer face-to-face.
That tiny word – “no” – can be very hard for some of us to say. The reason is because one of our most fundamental needs is for social connection, feeling we belong. Saying “no” feels threatening to our relationships and that feeling of connected-ness. We worry “no” will change the way other people view us. To be honest, sometimes it does have a negative effect, but psychologists say most people probably won’t take our “no” as badly as we think they will. The consequences of saying “no” are much worse in our minds than they would be in reality.
Try these tips if you have a hard time saying “no’:
- Rehearse saying “no” ahead of time so you won’t cave-in
- Keep a version of “Let me think about it” ready when a request takes you by surprise
- Delay giving your answer – taking time raises the possibility of “no” to the asker