Now, I know, as women and as anxious women in particular, learning how to say no is something that we all struggle with.
However, knowing how to say no is a really important skill for your wellbeing, for your long-term health and wellness and confidence in yourself.
As women, we’ve been conditioned throughout our lives to be nice and polite. We’re taught not to hurt anyone’s feelings and to be accommodating. We’re told to look after other people no matter what, no matter the expense to ourselves, to always put other people first.
And this has gone on not just for our lives but for our mother’s lives, our grandmother’s lives great grandmother’s lives.
This is a multigenerational pattern and what we know is that these patterns get inside the DNA and they get passed down from generation to generation to generation.
So, what we’re working with here, in an inability to say no to things, is a pattern that’s pretty much engrained into your DNA at the moment.
But that’s not to say that it can’t be reversed.
Learning how to say no nicely can be hard work and it can be a little bit uncomfortable to do when you’re first learning how to do it but it’s definitely a pattern that can be erased and the benefit of it is you only say yes to the things that are a real yes for you and a yes for you is a really good thing.
It’s really good for your growth, it’s good for your confidence and it’s good for your energy field overall.
So I’ve got a simple three-step process for you to follow when you want to say to someone but you want to say it in a way that isn’t going to break their heart.
Step 1: Feel that you have a right to say no.
I know that feeling this is something that a lot of people struggle with.
We really struggle against that conditioning that we’ve been brought up with and the generations before us have been brought up with.
But the fact is, if someone asks you a question, or if someone asks you to do something for them, they are asking you.
And you absolutely have a right to say no.
You also have a right to say yes. Your right to say no and your right to say yes are equally weighted.
And I know that this is something that consciously you know and you’re probably feeling a little bit frustrated with me because I’m stating the obvious to you right now.
You consciously and mentally know it – but do you feel it inside your body? Do your cells know it? Do you know from a feeling level that you absolutely have the right to say no?
And that’s a good question to ask yourself – it’s a good thing to maybe take some time out and sit with it and perhaps journal on it.
Really ask yourself, “When I tell myself that I have a right to say no, what comes up for me?” And write it out. See what comes out. See what blockages pour out of you and onto the page.
That’s a really interesting exercise to do when you’re learning how to say no nicely and I’m sure you’ll get some really good insights to work on from that.
Step 2: Learn the “say no nicely” sandwich
This is the “how” bit of learning to say no nicely.
I know many, many women and I’ve been guilty of this in the past, you say yes, you say yes, you say yes, you say yes…and that pattern is the accepted norm not just for you but for the people around you.
So people are used to coming to you and asking you to do something for them.
For me, often, it’s my friends coming to me for free energy healings or free aura healings. And if I have the time to do it and I’ve got the space to do it, if that is something that I want to do. But I’ve learned over time that these healings and readings that I give away for free, they do come at an enormous expense to me and my energy levels. There have been times when I’ve had to turn away a paying client because I’d been giving a free healing to one of my family members or friends.
So I’ve learned to say no to those. And the way that I do it is I tell them that I’ve received their question. “Thanks for asking me – but I’m sorry, I can’t do that for you.”
And then I might explain that, “I’ve got paying clients that I need to work with instead. I’m not available at that week.” So the words can change but I basically a positive. You know, “Thanks for asking me,” or, “thanks for reaching out,” and then I deliver the no. “I’m unable to do that this week, I don’t have any room in my schedule.”
Or a simple no: “No can do.”
And I might say sorry, or I might not say sorry, it really sort of depends.
And then I end it with a positive. So I might say, “Good luck with what you’re going through,” or, “I can recommend you to someone who will read your tarot cards for you or who will do a psychic reading for you.”
I know tons and tons of psychics and tarot card readers who are amazing and who I refer people to all the time.
So just by doing the positive with the acknowledging the question, the negative which is the no – you are answering in a negative, that is a no – and then finishing it with a positive, it just kind of puts it into a niceness sandwich.
So that can be a really delicate way of delivering a no. And I also find that that’s a really assertive way of delivering a no as well. You’ve brought the point home, you’ve really called out the elephant in the room, you know, “I’m saying no but I’m following that with something that’s positive,” and you’re kind of saying no in three different ways that way. And I often find that people don’t come back and ask that same question again in an attempt to try and get to change my mind because I said no so assertively.
“”Step 3: The more you practice how to say no nicely, the easier it will be
It can be uncomfortable at first, it really can. Saying no, even when you say no nicely, is something that can be really, really hard to do.
We are fighting against generations of patterning to put everyone else first and to always say yes and to always accommodate.
So, saying no is going against that patterning.
And the thing is: As you break a pattern, you’re establishing a new pattern.
We, as humans, thrive on patterns. So breaking a pattern can be really, really, really uncomfortable.
And you can wrestle with feelings of guilt, you can feel like you haven’t done the right thing.
Sometimes, other people can make you feel bad for saying no and if that’s the case, I really ask you to reassess that friendship or reassess that connection because if a no for you is a yes for them, or a yes for them is a no for you, then that’s an equal match between you and your contact.
So it gets easier with time, is what I’m trying to say. It really is something that is worth the while to develop. Learning to flex your “no” muscle is really important, as it is a vital and valuable skill for life.
These are difficult conversations to have because you’re re-establishing the rules. You’re doing something different that you haven’t done before, you’re breaking that pattern.
My grounding meditation will help to calm and centre your energy as you build up your “no” muscle.
Do put the effort and energy into learning how to say no, it really will get easier with time and it’s a valuable skill for life. Do it, you’re absolutely worth it.
Love + light,