Tomorrow The Husband and The Child leave for a 48 hour trip to Chicago.
I was invited.
I paused (good to give illusion of consideration).
I smiled (kindness always).
No, thank you.
The no was unexpected (The Child), not delightful to hear (The Husband), and completely my prerogative (we’ll get to Bobby B. later).
(it will look like this. I am very OK with this.)
I can’t believe you did that, a friend responded when I shared my two-letter success. I’m impressed.
I get steamrolled by other people, my friend continued. I can’t say NO.
You *can,* I encouraged her.
And I shared my secrets.
4 steps to a confident NO:
1. Decide it’s OK. Be kind, but unapologetic. Be Meghan Trainor (I’m serious. Play the song. Learn the song. Be the song.) Give yourself permission. Choose to make saying no OK. You don’t need permission. You make your own decisions. It’s your prerogative. (shout out to you, Bobby).
2. Identify priorities. Remember our mission statements? Get them out or, if you skipped ’em before, create statements now. Why? Clear priorities make it easier to utter that one syllable word with confidence. Would you prefer to spend time on goals you’ve identified or on a new commitment? I know my priorities. Ive written my mission statements. I know immediately when something is a NO for me.
3. Brevity. Brevity. Brevity. People tune out after they hear NO or anticipate NO coming. Details and extraneous information make it appear there might be a chance your mind could be changed. Say no, say no nicely, offer yer no with one reason why it’s a nay and be done. The best thing I’ve learned from frequent NO’ing is I do, in fact, possess the ability to speak and then “sit with the silence.”
4. Say YES to something else…if it works. “I can’t do this, but I can…” Identify a smaller/different commitment you can make. It’s a yes, but a yes on your terms. I rarely do this in the moment unless something springs to mind I’m positive Id not mind doing. Typically I reach out later, gently reiterate my NO and offer a few choices for YES.
As I explained to my oft steamrolled friend: NO’ing is all as simple as that.
A sense of empowerment which spills over into all facets of life.
- Do you struggle to say NO with confidence?
- Do people ever mistake your NO for a maybe in disguise?