Hey there! We may have never met, but let me tell you something I know about you: you’re a class act. You probably show up every day determined to do your all, and let me tell you – whether you know it or not – it’s working.
Speaking of doing our all, that sometimes mean we let the things we most want to do slip to the wayside because we take on a lot. Saying no can be really hard to do – especially for women. We grow up being taught the importance of pleasing other people and it creates invisible chains on our time. Then, we become moms, and our time is precious in a way it never was before. But saying no?!? It’s hard!
Today, let’s talk about how to say “no” gently and well. In other words – learn how to say “no” with class! We can say no in ways that don’t hurt feelings and that honor ourselves and our needs. We can say no so that we make space to all the things we care most about.
Three Ways to Say No with Class
Here are some suggestions that you can riff off of. I’ll follow up with an explanation of why they’re good!
- “I’m flattered that you asked me. However, it won’t be possible for me to help out with X.”
- “Oh, that [insert activity] sounds wonderful. I’ve been feeling spread thin lately with everything going on and need to take a pass. I hope it goes really well and I’ll be thinking of you!”
- “You know I value our friendship/this cause. Unfortunately, I can’t be there. As a rule, we keep Sunday afternoons for our immediate family to spend time together and get ready for the week.”
(More examples for saying “no,” can be found at this blog post by Marie Forleo. Her focus is primarily the business world, but the basic concepts still apply). Using her advice, we can see that all of the above points are great examples because they:
-preserve the dignity of the other person
-allow you to set your boundaries without apologizing for them, and
-don’t leave an opening for the person to push back
If for some reason the person does push back, take a firm stance and remember that you are a kind and loving person and it’s going to be okay. Say, “I’d rather not,” or, “I’m not able to, but thanks again for thinking of me.”
Remember Your Body Language
While you’re at it, keep in mind that your body language and tone are speaking even louder than your words! Keep your shoulders down and stand confidently. Make your voice drop at the end of a sentence instead of letting it rise. This keeps your statement a statement instead of some sort of iffy question that someone will try to poke holes through.
Last – don’t for a second feel guilty about honoring yourself and your life and your needs. After all, in the end, whoever you are talking to also wants you to live your best life. You’re a class act. You do you!
***I’m curious, what activities in your life are you ready to say no to? And how will you say it next time the opportunity comes up? Tell me about it in the comment section. May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up! go mama!