Refusing someone is rarely easy and often downright uncomfortable. But constantly giving in creates anxiety, anger, added stress, regret, and feelings of powerlessness. Whether you are looking to curtail or eliminate parents’ incessant demands, intrusions into your love life, must-attend invitations, your children taking advantage of you, a friend’s dependence or the boss’s unrealistic expectations, The Book of NO is an invaluable resource for recognizing how people snag you, discovering why you agree, stopping the habit…and stemming the tide of favors asked of you.
With Dr. Newman’s techniques and insights you’ll discover how to say “no” in the face of a person’s power, influence, bullying or disappointment—whether real or imagined. The more comfortable you become saying “no,” the more opportunities you create to achieve the less chaotic, more fulfilling life that always seems just out of reach.
By strengthening boundaries against the barrage of unwanted distractions, you’ll be able to move closer to your goals—even if they are just finding time to workout and eat healthier, see a movie, or read a book. And, the bonus: You’ll have time to improve the most important connections in your life, the ones that really matter to you.
Begin Flexing Your NO Muscle
Saying “no” is a learned skill and one you’ll quickly master as you work through the basic steps and implement your rights when asked to contribute your talent, your energy, support or merely your presence. Will you help me pack for the move? Will you walk my dog? Can I borrow your car? So often, the simplest requests irritate or eat up precious time.
The first “no” to a person makes subsequent refusals easier. You might start fine-tuning your “no” resolve with any of the four groups who ask questions like these:
Can I wear your cashmere thingy Friday night?
Will you drive car pool for me?
You’re inviting your cousins, aren’t you?
My parents are visiting for two weeks. Okay with you?
- Colleagues and Bosses
Will you stay tonight to finish up this project?
I’m leaving; tell the boss I wasn’t feeling well (not true).
- Really Difficult People (think-salespeople, telemarketers, contractors)
We only have a few left. Truthfully, I’d grab it if I were you.
You look smashing in that color lipstick. Shall I ring you up?
Each question, favor or demand is dissected into three parts: What’s going on here (an analysis of what’s unreasonable or unrealistic and why), a Response (how to say “no” without seeming uninterested or impolite) and an Alert (words of caution so next time you’re in a similar bind, you’ll know what to watch for and hesitate before agreeing).
Here’s a small sampling of ways to preserve the rights that you unwittingly give to others when you say “yes”:
- Make your feelings and desires known
- Establish and guard your boundaries
- Keep your needs in the forefront so saying “no” is possible
- Turn down those who flatter you into a “yes”
- Request the details before committing
You can say NO with the best of them!