Some people seem to be born with the ability to just say “no” to anything. But some of us have trouble setting boundaries. We may feel as though we aren’t entitled to or aren’t allowed to say no. Sometimes it seems like we need to have strong justifications on hand. It’s possible that we feel compelled to put other people’s feelings ahead of our own.
Life-changing is a new way of thinking about boundaries. On the negative side, you’ll discover that your lack of limits may have actually caused harm to both you and others. On the plus side, once you begin using these words, you’ll realize that saying “no” to one thing actually means saying “yes” to another — whether that other thing is having more free time, enjoying some healthy isolation, engaging in an activity you truly enjoy, or simply asserting your independence.
I did whatever people requested before I started using these expressions, to the point where I lost touch with what I truly desired. I didn’t really understand my anguish until I was already there. I agreed to extra work assignments that I didn’t need to complete, social gatherings that left me exhausted, and dates that weren’t suitable for me.
Start by setting boundaries
Setting boundaries sounds difficult at first, but it is worth it in the long run. It might be challenging to rebel against giving the answer we feel people want because of guilt, shame, socialization, and fear of consequences. And on sometimes, we simply don’t want to disappoint folks!
On the surface, this seems good, yet resentment may be hidden beneath this kindness (sometimes even without our conscious awareness). People dislike martyrs. Saying yes when you secretly hate it is neither kind nor honorable. If someone simply said yes to me out of fear or selflessness, I would feel dreadful. Please be honest with me and give me your whole trust!
When it would be in your best interest to decline, those who care about you want you to do so. In reality, as discussed in the sections below, there are unspoken advantages to saying no.
You can practice saying these words so you won’t say “yes-in-panic” when faced with an invitation to a terrible event, a committee, a date, or anything else you aren’t so sure you want to spend your limited, precious time on. You can also save and return to this page for the justifications for why creating these boundaries is not only appropriate, but also the kinder, clearer, and more socially responsible thing to do.
Try saying “let me get back to you,” while you think about it.
You can make the claim that you’re going to check your calendar, and as a bonus, you can do so! In the end, though, you are not committing and then pulling out; rather, you are allowing yourself time to consider whether you really want to do anything. I’ve let folks down by bailing off far too often in my life. I used to think it was “nicer” to say yes to everything, but as the event drew nearer, I would scramble for any plausible justification to escape, attempting to maintain my appearance of being “kind” and “willing” while inadvertently unable.
Trusting that the person asking can manage your response, that they want an open discussion, and that they have your best interests in mind is really more kind. When I give myself time to ponder before making a decision, my life is lot easier. I can then respond with a genuine yes or no. This strategy is based on the idea that the inviter and the invitee are on an equal footing, and that both parties’ sentiments and time are valuable. The best way to respect another person’s sentiments is to believe they want and can handle honesty rather than denying your own feelings, being patronizing, or pretending you desire something you don’t.
On the plus side, once you begin using these words, you'll realize that saying "no" to one thing actually means saying "yes" to another.
“I’ve got enough on my plate already.”
It is all-inclusive and doesn’t rely on particular justifications. It’s a valid remark that your emotional capacity is more important than your schedule.
Any time you make a particular justification, you open yourself up to countless modified alternatives. Instead of taking a firm stance on your limitations, you are framing it as a problem to be solved. “Oh, Wednesday is dog-shampooing day? Next, we’ll work on Thursday. Oh, you want to get sick on Thursday? Then it’s Friday!
Instead of “not now, never” try “thanks for inviting me, but it’s not my thing.”
Being able to gracefully excuse yourself from wasting your time while expressing when something isn’t your style might be helpful. You are demonstrating to others who you are, what you enjoy, and what new things you are and aren’t open to trying. You are establishing your limits and demonstrating how you want to be treated.
When you feel like saying “absolutely-not-please-stop-contacting-me,” try not saying anything at all
That’s correct, complete silence.
Although this strategy would be impolite in most situations, it works wonders. Therefore, it is our secret weapon that is only used against those who have disregarded all previous responses.
One of the ideal situations in which to use this strategy is in opposition to a persistent ex who continually attempting to reenter your life. To this individual, no matter how many times you repeat it, they simply won’t listen. You may be thinking to yourself, “I’ve told them a million times I don’t want to converse.” And that’s the issue; you’ve answered them a gazillion times. If what you are expressing, even if it is a gorgeous, fantastic declaration of your limits, if you are responding, you become engaging, the response to which you should try is complete silence.
These have made a stagnant change in my life, I feel these are the simpler ways through which one can handle the situation more swiftly. They are a must try if you too find yourself trapped in the cycle of saying not being able to say no.
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