Fridays with Franky: Learning to Say No Confidently
A challenge faced by many people, particularly those with low self-esteem, is learning to say no confidently. Too many people are afraid to say no and that comes with consequences. For example, it makes it very easy for others to take advantage of you and your own needs don’t get met. You might take on too many things or do things you resent doing. You could become overwhelmed, burned out, anxious, depressed, angry or bitter at the other person. This is not good for your physical or mental health. Learning to say no confidently is important for your own self-care and overall well being.
Tips on Learning to Say No Confidently
- Know that you have the right to say no. You have the right to express yourself and look after your own needs. Saying no confidently is an important part of being assertive. It’s not selfish and it doesn’t mean you’re rejecting the other person.
- Stop being a people pleaser. Know that you’ll never please everyone, and your own needs matter. Don’t do something just to please other people.
- Be clear, concise and confident in your response. For example, you could say “sorry, I can’t do that today” or “that doesn’t work for me right now.” There is no need for a lengthy explanation. Practice saying that with conviction – your voice and body language matter. Watch out for signs of submissiveness as others may pick up on that, and take advantage of any weaknesses.
- Use the “broken record” technique. This is particularly useful when someone keeps on insisting. You can respond by repeating your point over and over, just like a broken record. For example, “that really doesn’t work for me right now,” or “I’m very sorry but I can’t do that.”
- Use a delay tactic. If you’re having trouble saying no on the spot, you could try saying “I’ll get back to you later.” This gives you time to think about a response and it gives you some control over the situation. It’s important to get back to the other person when you say you will. When you do get back to them you’ll be better prepared to give a clear, concise and confident response.
- Negotiate a compromise, but only when you want to. For example, if you really want to to help but the timing doesn’t work, perhaps you could say “I can’t do that today, but how about next week?” It’s important however not to use this as a cop out.
- Have healthy boundaries. These are important both personally and professionally.
- Learn to be assertive. Assertiveness is a skill that can be learned.
I hope these tips will help you all in one way or another. Do you have any more tips to add? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments! I can’t wait to hear them.