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Saying No

Sometimes you lose track of your needs and feelings with some idea of what is good for others or the relationship. You say yes, when you really want to say no. Wouldn't it be nice if you could say no and still take of the relationship and stay connected to the other?

So how can you say no and stay connected?

First, make sure you really understand what the other person is asking before you answer.  What needs is this person is hoping to meet with their request of you.  What is the request exactly?  A request is clear when you can visualize exactly what you would be doing. (When? For how long? How often? With who? Where?).

Example:

You: "So in asking me to help you move you're wanting help with the heavy things?"

Your friend: "Well, no, I don't have anything real heavy. I am just feeling emotional about this move and wanting some company."

You: "Oh, okay, you're wanting some company (the need up for your friend). When and how long were you thinking?"

Your friend:  "Saturday morning for a couple of hours."

Second, let them know the needs alive for you.

You: "I'm feeling torn because our friendship is important to me and I want to be there for you.  At the same time, integrity and trust are also important to me so I am wanting to keep my word with my nephew to take him fishing Saturday."

Third, brainstorm a strategy in which all needs could be met.

You: "Do you have any ideas about how I could take care of our friendship as well as the trust with my nephew?"

Your friend: "Could you do that with your nephew and come over to my new place for dinner in the evening and then unpack a few boxes with me?"

You: "Yes, that would work."

Saying "no" really means you're saying yes to other needs.

When there is a sense of connection and honoring of the needs of both you and the other person, you will be able to find a decision that truly meets everyone's needs. All needs can be met. It just doesn't always look the way we think it will.

This week notice when you feel yourself in the bind of wanting to say yes to avoid conflict and wanting to say no to meet your own needs.  Ask the person requesting something of you to give you a few minutes before answering.  Check in with the feelings and needs up for you.  Then ask the other about their needs behind the request and make sure you really know what the request is.  Look for a way all needs can be met.

 

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1 Response

  1. Feb 12, 2010

    Wonderful your post! It's so helpful when you offer specific alternatives. It really helps me and others remember that we can be gentle when we say no. Otherwise, we may go on saying yes! It's also lovely, your presentation. I get a thrill in opening your post.
    hugs, Annie

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