Say it with Your Chest: How to Say No with Confidence

Say it with Your Chest: How to Say No with Confidence

Sometimes saying no is vital. Nevertheless if you're a people pleaser, this is likely something you struggle with. 

However, learning to set boundaries is important if you want to preserve your life and protect your mental health. 

We know, you care deeply about your friends, family members, and co-workers, etc. But this doesn't means you have an unlimited amount of time and resources to offer them. And by trying to accommodate everyone, you're doing a disservice to all. 

This tends to throw your schedule off. In addition, you don’t get quality time together. The stress, strain, and the guilt drains your energy and reduces your feeling of well-being. However, when you set and stick to your boundaries, you don’t have this problem.

Use the following boundary-setting tips to help you say no firmly and with confidence.

  1. Make a list of your current obligations and the amount of time you spend doing them. Ask yourself if you have the time to say yes.
  2. Evaluate whether these activities are important to you. Ask yourself if they will help you achieve a goal.
  3. Prioritize the activities that are most important to you. Ask yourself if the task or request leads you closer to a goal. If not, simply say no.
  4. If something on your list isn't prioritized but takes up spare time, consider removing it from the list. Other options might be to delegate, outsource, or automate the task. However, if you can eliminate it, do so.
  5. After setting boundaries for your obligations and activities, begin setting boundaries with other people in your life by taking time before answering so you can say yes or no with confidence.
  6. List other important tasks and ask for help with these tasks. For instance, ask family members to pick up after themselves or set a time limit for watching TV or playing games.
  7. Use "I" statements when telling someone no. For example, "I can't do it this time."
  8. Be honest about why you can't or won’t do something. While you don’t owe anyone an explanation, being straightforward will feel good to you. On the other hand, the fact that the request will not get you closer to your goal, you have no time to do it, or it just doesn't interest you is perfectly fine to divulge, but you are under no obligation to explain why you said no.
  9. If you are setting boundaries with someone who is unwilling to take no for an answer or becomes upset, don't worry about setting the limit "right." Instead, consider whether you need to reduce the time you spend with them. If setting boundaries with someone causes conflict, they either aren't a good friend or set their wants and needs above your own needs.

 The Bottom Line

Your priority should be your well-being. Set boundaries that are important and beneficial to you your health and needs, such as mentally, emotionally, and physically. Setting boundaries and saying no with confidence often takes practice. If the boundary doesn’t work the first time adjust or fine-tune the boundary, until it works for you.

Keep in mind that setting boundaries and learning to say no is necessary for your well-being. Others will respect you more in the long run when you set firm boundaries and make yourself a priority as needed. Setting boundaries isn't a bad thing. Some people may be surprised when you begin enforcing your boundaries, especially if you usually just said yes, without giving a thought to your own wants and needs.

In fact, having good boundaries makes you a good friend, family member, or co-worker. Remember that saying yes, all the time is just as bad as saying no all the time. Once you have boundaries in place and say no with confidence and grace, most people will accept the boundaries you set.

Do you love to read? Check out Ivy Locke's Medium column here

Image by 27707 from Pixabay

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