The Art of Saying No

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Sometimes we find ourselves agreeing to do something, only to spend days worrying about our decision.  Are their times when the “nooooo” word is on the tip of your tongue but you cannot release it?  Why do we have difficulty with this simple word? Could it be that this word projects us as being selfish, uncooperative, unloving, or uncaring?

Boomers were taught that their word is their bond.  Once you have agreed to do something wriggling out of it is not easy.  There are many slogans for “NO,” that warns our children and young people of actions that are dangerous or unsociable.

Some people believe that lack of self-confidence may be the underlying cause of our inability to say no.  I agree that this may be true in some cases, but there are exceptions.  Sometimes we are not listening well and respond to a request before processing it properly.

I am a very confident person, but a few days ago I was caught in a position where I hastily agreed to do something.  On reflection, I realized that just saying no was the perfect answer, but it slipped me.

Boomer women may find that saying no to family, friends, neighbors or coworkers is hard.  Some people expect that we become sweeter, kinder, more loving.with age.  Saying no is not easy, it is not a part of our nature.

Church women often find it hard to say no.  Think about the groups, committees, and auxiliaries that we join.  If you check on all of these, there is a small group of women who are a member of everything.  How many tickets for different events are you selling?  How many of these activities are you roped into because you are unable to say no?

How about good things?  We do not want to say no when it is a good thing.  It may never come again.  We need to use this opportunity to prove our worth, but in doing so, we become overwhelmed, overstressed and yes, burnt out.

Here are a few Tips to help you say NO:

  • Be firm, be polite, and be direct.
  • Be clear in your refusal.  Do not give the impression that you will give in at a later date.
  • Look for a compromise – make sure that the request is something that you might want to acknowledge at a later date.
  • Never feel guilty – even with your kids do not become overwhelm with guilt when you have to say no.  They have to learn that they cannot have everything.
  • Make sure that your refusal is not mistaken as rejection.
  • Self-honesty is still the best policy.





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