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How do you learn to say "NO"?

It's amazing what happens in life, though. We are taught from childhood to be right and good. To behave socially. They instill certain norms of behavior. In general, this is justified because let's be honest, most people want to live in a society that can provide us with social comfort, loyalty, and a polite attitude towards others.

However, for some in adulthood, it turns out that they cannot say no, even when they need to. Such people are willing to help everyone, often to the detriment of their interests and health. Do you think anyone appreciates this?

Not at all. Everyone eventually gets used to being unreliable and begins to "use it left and right". What's the big deal? A man is always ready and always willing.

Why does this happen? Why do people feel uncomfortable saying no? To use a common phrase, "We all come from childhood".

Some didn't want to disappoint their parents. Some liked to be liked. Some tried to preserve the crumbling relationship between adults in this way, believing that if they "did everything as asked", Mom and Dad would continue to be a family. Some people used "good deeds" to raise their self-esteem and feel needed and important. Some people gained the attention of adults who were important to them. Some people got their first "buns" in life thanks to this.

Childhood passes. As you get older, you realize that you shouldn't always agree with everything, and now it's not easy to say no.

Why? Because rejection comes with very unpleasant feelings.

Guilt. The feeling that you've let someone down. At times, you may even feel that your rejection will make everything "go to hell". The fear of losing loved ones "rises".

There is also anger and resentment towards yourself. For example, once again, instead of going home, you sit up late at work and do someone else's report.

Why is it important to learn how to say no? Knowing how to say no is vital. It's a matter of personal boundaries and the value of you as a person.

There has to be something unacceptable to do to you and that is OK. It is important not just to know this, but to state it firmly to the world and those around you. No one will stand up for your interests. The modern world is pragmatic and cruel. Your interests are your concern.

Finally, life is one. If you constantly go along with other people's "wants", in effect it means that someone will live your life for you.

How do you learn to say no?

It is extremely difficult to become a "refusal guru" overnight. "Impossibility of refusal" almost always has a root situation.

Some of it needs to be worked through with a specialist. These are basic safety techniques.

Nevertheless, there are general guidelines that are available for practice in lighter versions.

Here are three types of refusal that you may find useful in different situations.

Option 1. "Denial - postponement".

The purpose of this refusal is to get a deferral to make a decision. When you tend to agree with everyone and help everyone, you often find yourself in a situation where you are approached about nothing. In these cases, the opt-out works very well.

What does it look like?

"Call me tomorrow at 6 pm with this issue, I'll see what I can do". "Come on, I'll call you back in three or four hours, I'm really busy right now". "Ready to discuss it next week".

The wording is different, the meaning is the same - "move your help across time and space". The unimportant will "fall away" on its own.

Option 2. "Rejection - lack of resources".

There are times when you are asked not just to help, but to do so at your expense. They want to use not only you but also your resources and assets. In this case, you can state the conditions under which you are willing to help.

What might the wording be?

"Yes, I am willing to do this, but unfortunately my machine/computer/printer/scanner is not working at the moment".    

If in doing so you are asked to repair and make. You can use rejection option No. 1.

"OK. Contact me then, please, in 3 days/week/2 weeks. See the circumstances.

At work, such a refusal might look like this.

"I can do it, but then the report/project/presentation won't be delivered on time. Do you realize that the main business that needs to be done might suffer?".

If it is something to do with money, start asking questions.

"Who is allocating the money for this? What are the upcoming costs? How soon will it be allocated"?

It's kind of a no-no, but sometimes it can be very helpful to find out in advance that you wouldn't have to pay for your help with your money either.

Option 3. "Rejection - not conforming to the provision".

Unfortunately, if you do not value yourself, you are unlikely to be valued by anyone else.

This rejection option is suitable for use at work. It is especially good when you already have a certain status.

It's designed to show that the goals you're being asked to achieve aren't aligned with your position/expertise/status.

What wording can you use?

"You know, this is not my area of expertise". We have the following staff members collecting information on this matter". "What you are talking about is not part of my job description".

Again. If you have agreed too many things before, it would be almost impossible to start rejecting them all at once.

The forms of refusal given above help you to become uncomfortable with the askers.

You don't seem to refuse with a curt "no", but you don't immediately run to comply with the request either.

Gradually, the perception of you as a resource that is free and available at all times will begin to change. This is already an important step on the road to mastering the art of refusal.


Anna Matyagina

psycotherapist, certified coach ICI, MRI, AC; specialize in Jungian sand therapy, metaphorical maps, PhD in Engineering

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