Saying “no” positively

We all love being loved. We need acceptance. We’ve been taught that selflessness is good. But when we spend too much time doing selfless things for other people that we would rather not do, our “goodness” can become a negative force for us, and even them. True health and balance in our lives and relationships comes from mastering the positive art of saying “no”!

People ask, they think nothing of it. And we say yes. But eventually, as we begin to feel ourselves losing control of our time and even our lives, resentment and frustration can poison our relationships with the very people we want to help! Chances are, they are totally unaware of the pressure they put on you. It’s even worse when you face conflicting demands from different people. How do you decide whom to please and whom to disappoint? The internal pressure builds—and it’s unfair to everyone.

Why is it so hard to say “no”?

We think it’s rude, uncaring, or selfish. We don’t want to hurt or reject others, or we fear they will cease to like us! Maybe their needs really are more important than ours!

But learning to say “no” is equivalent to turning off your stress tap. To take a new perspective on the good side of “no.”

  • Remember, people have the right to ask, but we also have the right to say no.
  • Saying no means rejecting the request, not the person. Never equate refusal with rejection.
  • “Yes” to one thing actually means “no” to another. We’re always making choices.
  • People will not reject you for saying no. It may even lead to an enlightening discussions, compromises, and better, more open communication with those you care about.

There are many good ways to say “no”–by being direct, reflective, reasonable, offering a raincheck or just asking “why?”

NLP coaching, counseling and hypnosis can help you learn positive strategies for saying no, protecting your own needs, reducing the demands on you, and even getting to the root causes for your reluctance to use “the word.”
Note: If you have generally said yes to others, you may well encounter resistance at first, when developing that wonderful skill of saying ‘no’!

Author: Pascale Aline

Psychotherapist & Performance Coach, I specialize working with tools for self enhancement, growth, productivity and healing (Biofeedback, EMDR, Mindfulness training)

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