What has two letters, is spoken the same in Spanish and English, is very powerful, but can be a challenge for many people to learn how to say?
Answer: The word NO
I have finally learned how to say it.
I have learned to say it without giving an explanation.
I have learned to say it without feeling guilty.
It took a very long time.
Here is what I have learned over the years about the power of saying no.
It is easier to say, than one might imagine. Why do we say yes to something we are unsure of? Or worse, are sure we do not want to do but feel pressured into doing. If you are saying yes when you mean no, you are being unkind to both yourself and the other person. This is because whatever you have agreed to, you will most likely feel a sense of resentment while keeping your agreement.
When someone asks you to do something and you do not want to, you do not owe them an explanation. Period. You have every right to say no. If they persist, stick to your answer. In the end you will be thankful. It took me a very long time to realize I did not have to explain why. Once I learned this I felt a tremendous sense of freedom and created personal boundaries and space that had not been in my life before.
If you are unsure if you can fulfill a favor or request from someone, but you don't want to say no right away, tell them you will think about it. If the person tries to pressure you into an answer immediately, that
is simply unfair. I have learned to say "I'm sorry, my answer will have to be no."
Learn to also accept no as an answer as well. Not everyone can fulfill our needs each time we ask. Do not take it personally.
Above all, try not to feel guilty when you say no. Time is valuable. So is money and your health. Saying yes to everything can lead to burnout and a feeling of being taken advantage of. Learn to be assertive. It is not easy, if you are like me, afraid to hurt people's feelings. Yet it is vital to your health and overall quality of life.
Want to learn how to say no more effectively? Start by valuing your time. Always communicate clearly. Sometimes this may mean saying something that will hurt the other person's feelings but will help avoid misunderstandings. Set boundaries in your life. Do not aim to please everyone, it will never work and you will end up losing yourself in the process. Finally, let go of feeling guilty or giving unnecessary explanations. There may be times when an explanation is necessary, but not always. Recently I read a great description about the ability to say no from author Susan Gregg. She said:
"No is a complete sentence and so often we forget that. When we don't want to do something we can simply smile and say no. We don't have to explain ourselves, we can just say "No." Early on my journey I found developing the ability to say no expanded my ability to say yes and really mean it. My early attempts at saying no were often far from graceful but with practice even my no came from a place of love. Love yourself enough to be able to say yes or no." - Susan Gregg
After reading her words, I visited her blog http://www.susangregg.com/blog. It is delightful!
So go for it! Just say no. It's OK. Really.