The art of saying no

No is such a small word that you’d think it would be easy to use, but for many it creates enormous anxiety. It swiftly mixes with imagined expectations and becomes an insurmountable task. Its far easier to cave in and agree to do something you didn’t want to.
So stick of being a doormat? Following along like a sheep? Being taken advantage of? Time to practice the art of no.
The first step is to identify what it is that prevents you from declining. Conformity can be an enormous influence in some people’s personalities. Are you one of those people? Do you worry that family,friends,work colleagues will think less of you?
Close your eyes and imagine a typical situation where you would have liked to say no but didn’t. Were they taking advantage? Be honest. If the answer is yes then I want you to imagine yourself calmly but firmly declining their request. Most importantly imagine yourself winning the confrontation. It will probably take several weeks of rehearsal before you become successful but stick at it. Its worth it in the end.
Another tactic you can use is to plan ahead. If you know someone is going to ask you to do something you don’t want to on a regular basis, ie babysitting, get busy. Make other plans so you have a reason to say no. If you have a friend,group of friends who expect you to behave in a way you don’t really want, its time to make new ones. Join a club, take up a hobby, try something new. The more your confidence builds the easier no becomes.

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