Saying No

Is 'saying no' a problem for you?

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Pathways The Light Within III: Guided Pathways to the Soul By Pat Jones & Steve Hulse View Details and Listen to Sample >>
Learn To Say No

For many of us, saying "no" to people is very, very painful. We believe that if someone makes a request of us, we are obligated to say "yes," no matter what is going on. If we do say no, we tend to suffer from feelings of guilt.

There are five steps you can follow when refusing a request.
  1. Notice how you feel when the request is made. I'll bet you will notice a sinking feeling in your stomach because you do not want to do something. This is an early warning signal that you need to refuse the request.

  2. Ask questions. How often have you agreed to do something and later, when you found out what you have agreed to do, you regretted your decision? Before you agree to do something, make sure you know what you are agreeing to do.

  3. After you have collected information both about your feelings and the content of the request, decide. Don't be rushed! If you need to think it over, do so. If someone presses you for a decision before you have time to consider, refuse. If your decision is to decline, say "No."

  4. Avoid excuses, and explain when it is appropriate. We use excuses when we want to say no, thinking they will soften our refusal. Often, an excuse turns into a yes because the other party comes back into the situation with a solution to your problem. If you have an explanation, give it. An explanation says that you would if you could, but you can't. It is not necessary to go into great detail with an explanation.

  5. Stick to your original explanation, even if the other person persists in their request. This is known as the "broken record technique." You do this calmly and without getting upset.



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