Women get so used to being nurturers and caretakers that they get used to doing more for others than they should. It seems almost impossible for a lot of women to know when they need to say “no” and when they do, they feel guilty for disappointing a loved one.
What many women need to know is that there are essentials and non-essentials tasks and the key to learning to say “no” is in recognizing when it is okay to decline a request. When we say yes to things we should be declining, it crowds the thing that are important.
Below, Alexandra Frazen, Communication Expert and Author, shares a universal approach for saying “no”:
Take this five-step script and store it as a draft in your email inbox. (So that you have no excuse not to say “no!”)
Use it often — and with love.
1. Open with gratitude.
You can’t go wrong with gratitude and appreciation. Ever.
“Deep thanks for writing.”
“I’m touched by your note.”
“I always love hearing from you — thank you for swinging back into my world.”
2. Acknowledge their courage.
It takes [email protected] (or ovaries, depending on your perspective) to ask for something you desperately need (or even just kinda-sorta want.) Reflect back that you get it.
“I can see how much this project means to you, and I’m touched by your determination and drive.”
“Asking for something you want (and need) can be tough. I’m moved by your clear, honest request.”
“I know what it takes to reach out and ask for support. I love your initiative-seizing chutzpah!”
3. Tell them “no.”
This point is non-negotiable. Be clear. Avoid wibbly-wobbly words like “maybe” and “someday” and “if only.”
“My answer is no.”
“This feels like a no.”
“I love you, but no.”
“That’s not a commitment I can make. I’ve got to say no.”
“You are a spectacular human being. Which makes it (really) hard to say no. But… no.”
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