I had a great time this week speaking for www.nafe.com and hosting a meet-up. I love getting out and connecting with other business owners. And sharing information that will help them move forward. It really feeds my soul.
At the meet-up our focus was on the importance of setting both personal and professional boundaries. One of the reason’s people have difficulty setting boundaries is because they have trouble saying no. Do you have trouble with this? Read on to find out why this is actually liberating and how you can learn to do it with ease and grace 🙂
It’s amazing to me just how far reaching the epidemic of saying no really is. I’ve been teaching entrepreneurs about this for years now, and more recently at the university level too. What I can confirm is that everyone has trouble with this. Neither age nor sex makes a difference.
During our meet-up we came to the conclusion that most people struggle with it because they don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings by saying no. I used to feel the same way, and still creeps in from time to time even after a lot of years of practice. I remember a coach saying to me once, “So when did you decide to be responsible for other people’s feelings?” This struck a cord. Why did I feel responsible for other people’s feelings? Being a child of an alcoholic is probably a good guess. Whatever the reason, I no longer wanted to do it. Trying to manage other people is really quite dis-empowering and quite frankly none of my business. People have a right to feel the way they do, and me trying to sugar coat something to spare their feelings is only going to hurt them in the long run.
When we say yes when it’s really a no, we end up being resentful. Angry with ourselves for saying yes when we didn’t want to and resentful that we’re doing something we never wanted to do in the first place.
Take some time to craft a sentence or two on how you can say no in a respectful, but firm manner. If it’s something you honestly want to think about, just say that and then get back to them later. I get a lot of call from people wanting to collaborate. If it’s not a fit, I will say, that’s not a fit for me right now, but I will keep my eyes & ears open for someone else that might be interested. If I know of someone, I will connect them right away. Kind and firm, right?
When we say no, we’re really staying true to what is important to us and what we value. That is liberating. Practice saying no this week. Say your sentence and then count to 10 in your head. This will give the other persona chance to respond and also prevent you form explaining why. Most people are just looking for an answer anyway 🙂