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Sunday, 28 July 2019

Say "No" With Kindness

Say "No " With Kindness

Cassie sits in utter despair.  She recently connected on Linkedin with a potential client.  She has honed the habit of mindfully keeping in touch with her connections on a regular basis - sending them well wishes over the weekend.     

She became friendly with her new connection.  They both eagerly shared the work they do which overlapped in one area.  

An event was coming up and Cassie was invited to participate in a major role.  She tossed and twisted.  Is this something she wanted to do?  Can she commit to it at this time?  The queries went up in her head.  She did not want to disappoint her new connection and patently wanted to continue the camaraderie forged between them.  It is not difficult to see Cassie's dilemma.  


Why do we say “Yes” to many things we actually don’t want to do?   The many time demands, some of which we place upon ourselves and those from others, can lead to an easy, quick burnout. Therefore, we must become more intentional and make smarter choices with our time.  Because we don’t want to disappoint others, we say “Yes,” but with regret, guilt, and resentment.

Time’s up.  Say “No” and stop people pleasing.  End the frustration and show yourself compassion.  Say “No” and become more productive.   

Give yourself permission to say “No” is practicing radical transparency without giving a reason for your “No.”  Be gracious, and offer kindness, without a reason.  Invite people to respect your boundaries.  You don’t have to give a reason to give a boundary.  Cassie settled on this approach :

“I wish you success with the event.  I’m sorry I can’t participate this year.”

When you say “No” with a reason, you give others the opportunity to challenge your reason.  For example:

“My schedule simply won’t permit it now.”  
“I’d love to, but right now I can’t. “ 
“I’m sorry, but it won’t work now.” 

Saying “No” with kindness is a skill.  It is honoring yourself with compassion.  Becoming the lover in you is giving kind attention to how you are feeling, honoring those feeling, and in doing so, you are being your authentic self.  When you fail to do so, you feel guilty, you resent others for it, and you have successfully betrayed and disrespected yourself.  Doing things out of guilt and obligation is not doing things out of love. You first need to respect your own boundaries and be known for who you are and what you really want by others.

You can even offer an alternative with kindness.

“Have a great book launch.  I’m so sorry I can’t attend.  If you would like us to get together over the weekend, I’d be happy to do so.”

When put on the spot, ask them to email you with a request.   This creates a default “No.”  Often, they won’t.  And if your boss asks you to do something that will compromise current work schedule, explain the situation and express your readiness to comply and seek his or her advice on how to restructure your commitments so that you can take care of his or her request.

If you still feel uncomfortable saying “No” with kindness, in person, don’t agree to anything.

“Let me check my calendar. I’ll get back to you.”  Give yourself time to consider the pros and cons before making a decision.  And if it becomes a “No,” phrase a gracious “No" in a text or email.

Saying “No” saves you time in the future.  No is a decision.  Yes is a responsibility.  When you say “No” you are only saying “No” to one option.  When you say “Yes” you are saying “No” to every other option.

I am a bridge for women.

Now I'd love to hear from you.  Have you struggled with saying No?  How are you handling it?  Leave a comment below and let us know.  This is our community of self-love and self-compassion.  Please share as much details so others can learn from your insight and find inspiration. 

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I appreciate your presence here.  Thank you for reading and contributing.  Your thoughts are so important to me.  Your support makes our community exceptionally magical !

Caryl Bowman
The Lover in You Coach
Host, Fix My Habit, Caryl Story-Podcast
Founder, Literacy For Life Foundation

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