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7 Ways to Learn to Say No with Kindness

A person who can’t say no is bound to many masters.

A world without ‘NO’ is filled with distraction, chaos, frustration, burnout, and abuse.

A person who can’t say no is:

  1. Trapped.
  2. Overwhelmed.
  3. Pleasing others while displeasing themself.
  4. Easily manipulated by people who can say no.
  5. Driven by urgencies and neglectful of priorities.
  6. Resentful toward people they serve.
  7. Unable to make decisions for themself.
  8. Filled with self-doubt.
  9. An enabler of their abusers.
  10. Unable to manage their calendar.

“You have to be good at saying no and picking the things that really matter.” – Warren Buffet

7 ways to learn to say no with kindness.

#1. You.

The inability to say no is all about you. Don’t judge yourself, just own it.

#2. Imagine.

Imagine saying no with courage and kindness. Don’t use anger as courage.

You can’t do it until you can imagine it.

#3. Practice.

Confess your weakness. Practice saying no together. Ask each other to do things and respond with no.

#4. Deadlines.

Before saying yes, ask when tasks are due. People-pleasers pressure themselves with imagined deadlines. Maybe it doesn’t need to be done by the end of the day.

#5. Go public.

Tell your team you’re learning to live by priorities and that includes learning to say no with kindness.

#6. Sooner.

If you feel the need to think about it, the answer is probably no but you’re afraid.

Have a reputation for being helpful. Avoid saying no too quickly. But don’t let it drag out.

Delay increases frustration.

#7. Self-discovery.

  1. Notice energy. Is energy going up or down as you learn to say no?
  2. Notice frustration. Recuring frustrations reveal neglected values.
  3. Practice openness and curiosity. Don’t close down.

People who can’t say no wait too long to say the word that frees them.

How would you teach someone to say no with kindness?

The Ability to Say NO is the Power to do What Matters

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