It's a simple, two-lettered word. And yet for most of us (with the exception of toddlers, perhaps), it's one of the hardest words to say.
Why is it so hard to say no?
Because we don't want to let others down. Because we want to do everything (i.e. volunteer at school and work out and have lunch with friends and...). Because we get bored when we're not busy 24/7. Because we are gluttons for punishment (in some cases).
Saying no is part of setting healthy boundaries.
Simply put (and we all know this), if we don't set boundaries, we're going to run ourselves ragged. And then we're no good to anyone.
How to say No?
Just in case you need a little help, here are a few steps you can take to help you say no effectively:
Set yourself a little goal to say no when you would normally say yes. Set a small target such as saying no once a week and then increase the amount as you gain more confidence.
If you are a dedicated people-pleaser you will often feel nervous or guilty when you first start saying no to other people. So don't fear the 'uncomfortable feeling' when you start to be more assertive. Praise yourself instead and tell yourself that it only feels strange because you are choosing a new positive habit.
Remind yourself that saying no to other people can actually mean saying yes to yourself.
You don't have to justify your no with a reason. Just state no firmly, and if you need to, repeat yourself until he/she gets the message.
Give up the need to gain everyone's approval. This is one of the main reasons that we end up agreeing to do things that we don't really want to do. The people who respect you will also respect that fact that it is ok to say no.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. Therefore, saying, “No.” gives you the opportunity to be the healthiest you, to re-charge, and to commit fully to your relationships, your work, and your life.