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Years ago, I discovered a great replacement for just bluntly saying no. Doing so disconnected me from myself and from other people. To remain in my power when I respond to someone’s request, I learned the art of saying no.
Now, when I get asked to, for example, bake five dozen cookies for a fundraiser… I use a simple little pattern I heard about, called: “YES – NO – YES”. I now say things like, “I love what you’re doing (edify, affirm), this is not a good time for me (the facts) however, I’d be happy to pick up a dozen cookies from the bakery or hang up a flyer for you at the coffee shop I’ll be at tomorrow (my resolution). Would that work for you?”
Again, it looks like this:
YES – edify and affirm the request. Assume the best of intentions from the other person and honor that they got brave enough to ask you. This really softens the “no” that’s coming in your mind and in theirs.
NO – give them the facts. The facts do not include your life story or a retelling of how dramatic and chaotic the last few days have been for you. You also do not have to have a time or commitment conflict to say no – you can just choose to say no to things you do not want to do or that do not fit into your life!
The facts can include the following:
- This isn’t a good time for me.
- This isn’t a priority for me at this time.
- This doesn’t fit into my week.
- This doesn’t sound like something I would like to commit to at this time.
YES- offer your resolution. The resolution should feel comfortable to you, it should honor your own values, commitments, and energy.
After you offer your own resolution, ask, “Would that work for you?” The person asking is free to accept or decline your offer. At times, it will not be appropriate to offer a resolution and you’ll simply skip this step.
The YES – NO – YES pattern is a beautiful way of showing support for others and helps to build connections, instead of tearing them down with obligatory “yes” responses or feeling guilty for saying “no.”
When you honor your own no, you allow others to respect your no as well. Even if you have said yes to something—and later notice that you are completely out of alignment and integrity—you can change your answer without making excuses about why.
Changing your answer does not make you a terrible person. Sticking with an out of integrity yes will make you feel horrible, even to the point of making yourself sick! I found out the hard way that it is very important to invest energy in the right commitments and relationships and that it’s never too late to say no.
This post is a modified excerpt from the book, Worship HER: Resurrect Your Pleasure, Embody Your Sexual Power, and Live Unapologetically for YOU (available on Amazon) and is republished here with permission from the author.
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