4 Simple Ways to Say No to Others so You Can Say Yes to Yourself

BY: - 17 Apr '14 | inspiration

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I don’t know about you, but saying no to people has always been a struggle for me, up until a couple of years ago. A couple of years ago, I decided that I was going to start taking better care of myself, and learn how to make myself a priority. Making myself a priority meant that I had to start learning how to say “no”. It meant that I had to realize that other peoples’ emergencies didn’t automatically become my own. When I finally learned that, it allowed me to manage the guilt that I would feel when I couldn’t/wouldn’t help someone out, or be there live for support at an event or outing.

I come from a family of nine siblings, with ten nieces and nephews…not to mention my own three kids and husband. I was running myself rampant trying to make it to every event and celebration. But as you can imagine, I got tired, overwhelmed and had very little to no time for myself. So I had to put a stop to it. I did an interview where the topic was around saying no and managing self-care. The host of the show asked if I really say no even to my own mother? My response? YES! (followed by a “sorry mom”).

Why is it that so many of us (women in particular) have such a hard time telling others no? What exactly is it that we’re afraid of? The truth of the matter is that saying no is vital to our health and well-being. But until we can learn to say this word often and confidently (not say no, and then change our mind and say yes), we will continue to be stressed and overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time. Can you relate to that? The irony of it is that it is usually our priorities (i.e. our goals, health, quality time with family or self-care) that suffers the most.

In order to gain control back over a part of your life that you may have lost, understand that there is a lot of power in the word no. No is a complete sentence, which I talk about in my new book. The older I get, the more I realize that time is sacred. My time is sacred. And I don’t want to waste time doing things that don’t serve me or my family. But I’ve come a long way because it hasn’t always been easy to turn down requests from family and friends. But it sure does get a lot easier.

Whether you’re trying to say “no” more often, or just trying to figure out how to say “yes” on your own terms, it’s imperative that you understand the importance of doing either one so you can gain back your power and sense of self. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, sick or tired (or sick and tired), then it’s past time for you to say this one simple word: no (and say it with some gusto). I’m now to the point where I can say it with a smile on my face and mean it with all my (loving) heart.

“Setting personal boundaries is about protecting and caring for yourself. It’s about learning how to say ‘no’ to others, so you can say ‘yes’ to yourself.” —Christine K. St. Vil

So for those who may find themselves saying “yes” to others way more than they want to, here are four simple ways to turn that “yes” into a “no”.

1. Say, “let me check my schedule”. And then go back later and say no. This is specifically for those who literally cringe or have panic attacks at the thought of turning people down. This is a tactic I used a lot when I was trying to get comfortable with this simple two letter word. The key is to not allow yourself to be pressured into doing something you don’t want to do.

2. Say, “Sorry but I’m not available”. Nine times out of ten, you probably receive regular requests for assistance from the same people. So come up with your “no” now and have it prepared and ready for the next request. Yes, they will probably look at you crazy and try to challenge you, especially if they’re used to always getting a “yes”. But we teach people how to treat us, and sometimes we have to retrain those people, which takes time.

3. Say, “I would love to do that for you, but I just can’t do it right now. Maybe we can touch base again in a few weeks” (or months, whatever you’re most comfortable with). What this does, is it transfers the ownership away from you. It tells them that you want to help them but that their timing just isn’t right. You don’t have to explain yourself any further than that.

4. Say, “No, I can’t”. And then leave it at that. Sometimes the simplest, most direct way of saying no is best. Stop worrying about hurting other peoples’ feelings, letting people down, fearing conflict, or feeling like you’re going to burn bridges. The people that feel this way from a simple “no” clearly don’t have your best interest at heart.

One key thing to remember when you’re determining the best answer: when you decide to say “yes” to others, make sure you’re not saying “no” to yourself.

BMWK: What are some ways you turn people down so you can do the things you want to do?

About the author

Christine St. Vil wrote 153 articles on this blog.

Christine St.Vil is co-author of the Whose Shoes Are Your Wearing: 12 Steps to Uncovering the Woman You Really Want to Be. A happy wife to an amazing hubby of 8 years, and homeschooling mother of three, she teaches moms how to FLY (First Love Yourself). She uses her corporate background to work with women who are ready to start a new business, accelerate their career growth & design a life they love. She's on a mission to help moms to battle the mom guilt epidemic, so they can begin to put themselves first on their never-ending list of priorities.

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I Cannot Lose Weight For Him or Them – Followup

BY: - 21 Apr '14 | inspiration

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I Cannot Lose Weight for Weight for Him or Them – Followup

When I wrote the first article on this subject a few months back the response was both overwhelming and encouraging.  Losing weight challenges many, many women. It’s something some face every morning and every night. Or perhaps you act like the weight issue doesn’t exist – Been there, done that.

If you are anything like me you have heard it all.  Things like:

  • You can’t lose weight living in the house with a bunch of skinny people.
  • If you say lose weight, you will never do it because internally we don’t like losing things.
  • You look good the way you are.
  • You better do something before he starts looking at other women.
  • When you lose it, let’s see how long you keep it off.
  • All you have to do is….

If just one more person told me “all you have to do is…” I probably would have screamed!

Well, I stuck to my word. I said I needed to do this for me, not because someone said, “I am concerned about you” or I thought my husband or even my kids were looking at me different. I put my word out there, I became self aware and began to take better care of me. As a natural care giver, I had to turn the tables and take good care of me. This one was ALL ABOUT ME.

  • I want to have the energy to run up a flight of stairs.
  • I want to be able to play in the floor with my grandbaby.
  • I want to feel a certain way in my clothes.
  • I want to do everything I can to keep my body in health and not harm it.
  • I want to take good care of me.

You can relate to having a busy, hurried lifestyle and grabbing food on the go. That was my daily routine. Still, I grad food on the go but now it is food that I prepared the night before. It’s amazing how many new fruits and vegetables the taste buds will adapt to if given the chance.

Forty pounds down and I still have a little ways to go.

What I am saying here is that you can do this. Do it for yourself. Not to fit into a certain size dress. Not because a special occasion is coming up, but because life has some good things in store for you and you want to be around to enjoy them.

It’s no mystery that junk food, fast food, too many sweets, and too much salt are not good for the body but they taste so good. I get that.

However, put yourself on your calendar. Plan your meals. Plan your snacks and your exercise. Plan your trips to the grocery store and buy the proper food. Not sure what to buy? Do a little research before heading to the store.

Do I have it all together? No. For example exercise is still not a part of my regular routine. However, having it ALL together, as far as diet and exercise are concerned, is not my goal. My goal is to be size healthy through making healthy choices that prosper me physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Make no mistake; I am not a nutritionist, a diet counselor or anything of the like. My thing is relationships and my weight spoke to my relationship with myself. Right now I am simply offering a little encouragement to you and to me.

Put yourself on your calendar and take good care of you. The next step for me – add regular exercise into my routine.

What is your next step? Share. What are you going to do to place YOU on your calendar and make yourself a priority?

About the author

Deborah L. Mills wrote 179 articles on this blog.

Coach, AUTHOR, Speaker, WIFE, Mom, and GRANDMOTHER. That's the gist of who I am. I love people and love to see their life and relationships thrive. As a coach I am ready to support your dream when you don't feel like it. As an author and speaker I am ready to pour into your life so that you can live your best life now. I am a personal and executive coach. Together with my husband I also marriage coach. GO TO MY WEBSITE. THERE IS A FREE GIFT THERE WAITING FOR YOU. http://bit.ly/2deborahlmills

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