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Stop saying yes when you mean no

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Something I hear and see a lot is people doing things because they feel like they must, or that they should do something. In other words, saying yes to something when they actually mean no. I think it is something that is drilled into us from a young age – the need to people please. But here is the low-down if you really don’t want to go or do something - don’t!

Now of course there will be times in your career or business when you wake up and don’t feel like doing that meeting or going to that event but know that you need to because otherwise you won’t get paid, or you will be in hot water with the boss. What I am talking about is learning how to say no to things that aren’t adding value to your life, or that deep down you really don’t want to do. Because every time we do something we don’t want to do; we are using up our energy and not spending time on things that we do want to do.

We don’t have to be rude about it, we just need to speak our truth at the time of the invitation and politely decline. There is that saying that the people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter won’t mind – I firmly believe that.

When we speak up for what we want or don’t want, we are stepping into our power as women and, I believe, collectively removing some of that patriarchal hangover that exists. Let’s start totally and completely owning our voices, our emotions, our feelings, and our decisions.

Here are my top 3 tips on how to say no:

1. Be straightforward

It can be tempting to say things like ‘maybe’ or ‘I need to check…’ when you know straight away you don’t want to do it. Be as straightforward as you can, or you risk the person asking you again another time.

2. Be polite

It can be tempting to make up an excuse or fabricate something that isn’t true but that doesn’t feel good. You don’t have to explain your reasons, just politely decline. Saying something like ‘That sounds fun but I have a lot going on at the moment’ or ‘Thanks for thinking of me but I can’t at this time’ or ‘How thoughtful of you to invite me/ask me but unfortunately I can’t make it this time’.

3. Establish your boundaries

We feel guilty saying no when we don’t have a firm grasp on our boundaries and priorities. So take some time out to establish what is really important to you and what are non-negotiables. Beware of people who won’t take no for an answer or who try and guilt trip you into a yes when you really want to say no – stick to your guns!

If you've enjoyed these tips and would like more where they came from, grab a copy of my book Don't Dim to Fit In and come and join me over on one of my social channels! I look forward to meeting you there.


Kate x

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