Saying No Without Shame

Our parents raised us to be polite. Hold on, wait. Okay, most of our parents raised us to be polite. That’s commendable and there’s nothing wrong with that. Right?

Well, too much of a good thing eventually goes sour, usually backfiring in your face.

Politeness can sometimes be a disease, especially when others use it against you.

How? Well

You’ll Wear Yourself Out Trying To Please Others

In this day and age, we all like to pretend we’re way more chill than we actually are.

You know how it is. No one likes to be the most uptight person in the room. So, you offer favors you don’t want to actually do and things you’ll go way out of your comfort zone to make happen.

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This Too Nice Syndrome is more common with women and girls, of course, because we’ve been drilled by society to be all-accommodating and friendly, even at our own expense. A lot of men face it, of course,

We need to understand that being assertive and setting rules will not make us uptight, less fun, or “grandparent-ish“. They’re not driving rules; they’re just limits we set down to be more comfortable.

“No” Isn’t A Swear Word

For some unfathomable reason, some people see the word “no” as something bad. Almost like a curse word you shouldn’t use around children.

Of course, no one will say this out loud because it’s ridiculous and “no” is a perfectly normal word, but the feeling remains. Refusing to do something for anyone is seen rude through many eyes.

So, how do you say no without hurting someone’s feelings? It’s actually very simple.

Do not care about that person’s feelings. Don’t misunderstand us, this isn’t an open invitation for rudeness and crass behavior.

It’s just that if a person is going to be this glum and affected by your refusal to do something just because you’re uncomfortable, or not in the mood, or just don’t want to do, then chances are they don’t really care about you.

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If they did care about you as a friend, family member, or something more, then they would have a lick of common sense and won’t be upset.

They should be rather happy that you respect whatever-it-is that you have enough to set down boundaries because you want to be as comfortable as you can be in their presence.

If you’re still on the fence about this, think about it this way. Would you even think of trying to force this person to do something they’re uncomfortable with?

Chances are the answer is “no”. Actually, the answer should be “no” because if it isn’t, this is going to be another problem.

So, How Do You Actually Say No?

At this point, you might be convinced, but there’s still one problem. You know, saying no is a little hard when you’re trying to please someone. So, how do you do it?

Luckily, there are many ways to choose from.

You can try to put your refusal between two positive statements, so it doesn’t seem as horrible to your ears. Another thing you can do is make excuses, like you’re busy and or you have this really important thing you have to do.

There’s an even easier approach, though. Simply practice the word “no” out loud until it doesn’t feel weird or scary or foreign because it isn’t.

No, you can’t go out today and no, you don’t want to file important paperwork for so-and-so.

No, you will not because you don’t want to. That’s it; practice makes perfect.