How to Say No and Stand Your Ground
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve realized that sometimes I just can’t trust myself to give the best answer when someone makes a request of me. I can’t trust myself because I’m a yes person. If you ask...
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve realized that sometimes I just can’t trust myself to give the best answer when someone makes a request of me. I can’t trust myself because I’m a yes person.
If you ask me any question on any day about anything, my immediate reaction without thinking is, “YES!” Yes, I’d love to go to that event! Yes, I am happy to bake six pots of chili for that group. Yes! I can help you paint and move and organize your pantry and raise your children! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Maybe it’s just because I don’t think things through or really consider what it will demand of me. Maybe it’s just because I do want to help! Or maybe it’s because I want everyone to like me. Whatever the reason, I find myself committing to things that I end up resenting and regretting later.
You’ve been there too, haven’t you? You’ve had every waking minute scheduled for someone else. You’ve committed to things you weren’t called to and said yes when you wanted to say no.
Or maybe you’ve experienced it in your business. You gave away your secret sauce because you didn’t know how to protect it. You accepted only half of your actual price when someone offered you less because you didn’t know how to stand your ground.
Whatever the situation looks like, I’ll tell you one technique that has helped me think things through, reduce my stress and guilt, and stand my ground.
It may sound silly, but script out what you will say ahead of time. When you do this, it takes away some of the mental angst you experience when you get requests that you don’t know how to react to.
For example, when I get asked to go to coffee to “pick my brain,” I have a scripted answer. Of course I can always change my mind and accept that particular invitation. But if not, I don’t have to struggle with how to politely decline every single time, because I already have my answer to those types of requests.
What scripts do you need to write? Script out how you’ll say no to someone asking you to help or volunteer. Or maybe write out your response to someone asking for your product for free or at cost. Think about how you’d respond to a competitor asking for your patterns or secret sauce.
If you think through these common requests, you’ll be ready to give the best response when the situation comes up.
To help you practice this skill, I’ve created a list of 25 Ways to Protect Your Time.
After all, an honest no is always better than a dishonest yes.