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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

How to Say No Nicely

Saying no to others can be a daunting experience. Intellectually, you tell yourself that you can say no calmly and assertively – that it means saying yes to the yourself. However, when it comes time to actually use the two-letter word, many feel anxious and stressed as a more rapid, shallower breathing takes hold. At the moment of truth instead of speaking up, you lie with a “yes, of course” and then ruminate about your inability to stand up for the self internalizing a negative opinion about being weak and a people-pleaser – turning that “no” inward instead of outward.

In stress management you learn to redirect attention to the positive. However, this does not mean that you can’t say “no” or should not accept an honest “no” from others. In order to facilitate responding with a “no” you need to reach for a happier thought, a better-feeling thought. No begins on the inside stemming from a positive perception about yourself, what you stand for and how you stand up for yourself. No comes from being in the “know” that you don’t please others by compromising your energy, ethics or time. You are good enough and do not have to prove your self-worth to earn love and popularity by doing everyone’s bidding and suppressing your own needs. Relationships are always based on balance. Remember the first relationship you need to balance is the one you have with yourself.

Therefore it’s time to learn how to say “no” – nicely! In this case practice makes perfect. Besides you have “no” lodged in your memory when you were a toddler. Most toddlers say no quite easily and emphatically. In fact, they put their whole being into it. The “no” asserts their will as a separate entity. This is a great lesson because through contrast, how you differ from others, sets you on the path to self-discovery.

How to say no-nicely:
For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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Content copyright © 2013 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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