I am but my own worst enemy when it comes to saying yes when what I really mean is no.
Honestly I cannot tell you how many times this year alone, I have found myself agreeing to do something or take on something because I was too gutless to say what I really wanted to... NO.
I didn't want to offend anyone, I hate letting anyone down, I'd have felt bad if I said no...
Blah blah blah.
No matter what kind of pretty package you wrap it up in, the truth is I have always sucked at saying no and I nearly always end up kicking myself for not saying it when I had the chance.
How many times have you found yourself doing something for someone that you really did not have the time or the desire to do?
How many times have you found yourself getting ready to go out somewhere when all you really want to do is whack your PJ's on and sloth on the couch?
Or how many times have you walked away from a conversation feeling completely railroaded after your excuses were picked to bits and you found yourself saying yes or maybe when you went into the conversation with all the best intentions of saying no?
Let's just be totally clear here, I am by no means am I good at saying no.
OMG I am so far from it.
But, I am trying to get better at it ... like trying really REALLY hard.
If you are like me and have a habit of saying yes or maybe when what you really mean is a big fat no, then here are some of the strategies I have adopted to help me become more comfortable with using the N word.
1. Keep it simple. We really don't owe anyone an explanation and the problem is if we try and offer an excuse or a reason as to why we are saying no, then we just dig ourselves a hole and we are handing out an open invitation for the person we are trying to say no to, to find a solution or reason to change our answer to be a yes.
2. It doesn't have to be a 'forever no'.
Maybe what we are being asked doesn't suit us right at this very moment in time, we can't manage it with our current schedule or it's just not what we want or need right now?
If that is the case then say it how it is - "No thank you, not right now" or "Sorry I can't at the moment" it leaves our options open for us to change our mind in future.
3. Consider a compromise if no is not really an option. Say yes, but on our terms and in a way that suits us and our time restraints.
4. Don't over think it! I am so guilty of this one because I worry about offending or what someone will think of me if I say no to them.
Chances are they will think nothing more than - "OK she said no", end of story. Don't assume there is fire when there is no smoke yada yada.
5. Buy ourselves some time with an "I'll have to get back to you kind of response". This will take the pressure off us having to try and collect our thoughts on the fly and let's face it - how many times have we said yes to something in the spur of the moment only to change our minds later?!
The key to making this one work is to make sure we get back to them before they chase us up and we find yourself on the back foot again.
6. Use email or text to respond if we are concerned that we might be talked into changing our minds if we have to say 'no' in a verbal conversation. This way we can keep our responses short and polite without the need to think on our feet and talked out of saying 'no'.
7. Don't feel guilty. Seriously guilt is one of the biggest factors when we breakdown the hows and whys of why we find ourselves over committed.
We often feel guilty about saying 'no' even when we know that there is really no other option.
We need to remember that our time is just as important as anyone else's, time is precious and guilt is expensive cargo to carry. I say we dump that guilt, say no with intention and simply move on.
How are you when it comes to saying No?
Do you nail it or do you dead set suck at it as much as I do?
Got any tips for us who struggle with saying no?
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