Jun 26 2009
Let’s Get Ready to Practice Saying “No”! from Guest Post Author Stephanie Marston of the Balancing Act Newsletter
This post hits me at a perfect time since we are gearing up for having the girls out of school and at home during the summer playing around my home-based business. To keep my sanity I need to remember to practice saying “NO”!
Practice Saying “NO”
One of the keys to creating better work/life balance is getting good at saying, “no.” Here’s an exercise that will help you to get more accustomed to setting boundaries, by becoming more comfortable with saying “no.” It may sound silly, but you can “teach” yourself to say “no” more effectively, and without guilt, by practicing.
If you decide to let your family or friends in on this exercise, you might choose to make the exercise a little more challenging by choosing something to say “no” to that you might ordinarily say “yes” to.
Here’s how it works:
- For a week or two, pick something each day that you wouldn’t normally say “no” to. Then, instead of saying “yes” automatically– say “NO?
- It doesn’t have to be something terribly important; in fact it shouldn’t. Just choose something that others would normally take for granted. For example, if you’re out shopping with your kids, and they always ask for ice cream, and you’d rather not get it but usually do because it’s easier than fighting over it- this time say, “no” and don’t back down.
- Or when a phone solicitor calls and you don’t want to hurt their feelings, you let them finish their spiel and then set an appointment you don’t intend to keep- don’t! Say, “No, thank you, I’m not interested” in the first ten seconds or so, and be done with it.
- Keep a record of how you feel when you say “no.” Notice if you feel differently about saying “no” when you get to the end of your time period than you did at the beginning. If not, consider doing the exercise for a longer period.
- Work to say “no” without feeling guilty. Recognize that you have a right to say “no” whenever you wish, and to feel good about doing so.
Stephanie Marston, MFT
The Balancing Act Newsletter