Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one. Eleanor Roosevelt
Being an individual, being yourself, means learning to say “no.” It means being less “nice.” Not being as nice isn’t showing a lack of love or respect. It is learning to say no to the demands of others that take away from your rights. It’s saying no to someone’s whim about what you need to do. It’s safeguarding your time and energy by saying no even to things that sound interesting but push you outside your boundaries.
Overlooking bad behavior, saying yes when you want to say no, taking on more than you can reasonably do may make you the “nice” neighbor or friend but it will chip away at who you are, your right to be an individual.
Affirmation: It is okay to say no.
Coaching questions: If you’re considered the “go to” person who is always “nice” and says yes to every request, what is this behavior costing you? What would your life look like if you weren’t so “nice?”
When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself. Paulo Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist.
One of the important lessons I taught my clients when I was their Life Coach was how to say, “no.” So much of the stress, anger, and anguish of our lives comes from our inability, particularly as women, to say no to the requests made of us that we know will put us over the top or are requests to do something we don’t want to do. Having a list of no-phrases can be helpful. Here you go:
I’d love to but I’m just not able to right now—Thanks, but my schedule is full— I know you need help with that project but I just can’t fit it in right now—Maybe another time—Thanks for thinking of me.
If these lovely responses fail, and the assailant won’t give up, sometimes you just have to say, “Is there something you don’t understand about my answer?” Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that but hold your ground. Your sanity and the possibility of living a tranquil, or at least not insane, life depends on it. You’re worth it.
Affirmation: I can say no.
Coaching questions: What is your response to a request to which you don’t want to comply? Is it working? If not, practice saying no then the next time you need to be strong you’ll be prepared.