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  • Writer's pictureBreanna Aponte

The Power of Saying "No"

For many people, it can be difficult to know how to set boundaries or say "no" to others. This can be especially challenging for those who self-identify as people-pleasers. There are tons of articles, books, and talks on the power of "yes." Of course, there are many times when saying "yes" is a great thing! But learning how to set boundaries and how to say "no" is the key to sustaining a healthy relationship with yourself and others. When we say "yes" to everything and do not set boundaries with people, we often feel stressed, overwhelmed, and burned out. Most of us want to be well-liked and to please other people. It can be difficult to turn down opportunities or requests that others have made of us. “No” – it’s a small word that packs a lot of power. We’re often taught that saying “no” is a negative thing, that it hurts those around us and causes us to miss out on new, exciting opportunities. It’s no wonder so many people are uncomfortable saying it. When you say no to someone else, you’re really saying yes to yourself! Finding the strength to say no to things is something I struggled with for a long time and I had to learn the hard way that saying yes to everything is not the way to go. If you are unsure about whether or not you want to say no to something, here are four questions to ask yourself before you decide: 1. Do I truly want to do this? 2. What do I gain out of doing this task or attending this function? 3. What has this person done for me lately? 4. What else will I do with my time if I don’t do this? Now that you know what you’re willing to say “yes” to and what things you will say “no” to, it’s best to come up with HOW you will say no. Here are my tips: Always start by thanking the person for thinking of you and reaching out. This allows them to feel like you at least appreciate the offer. Lead the next sentence with an “unfortunately, due to other obligations, I am unable to accept”. This makes it seem like you’re genuinely sad you can’t accept but isn’t going into too much detail as to why you have to pass up the offer. Suggest an alternative Name another person who might be able to take your place or accept the opportunity. End it with, “please keep me in mind in the future”. Shows interest in future opportunities. Now, if you’re absolutely not interested in what they are offering, don’t say that lol because chances are they will listen to you. What you will start to notice as you get more comfortable with saying no, is that you are honing in on your purpose and making sure that you’re putting your needs before others in order to reach your full potential and not overfill your plate with things that make you “busy” instead of focused and intentional. One of the most difficult things about saying no is getting FOMO (fear of missing out). But let's really think about the benefits of saying no. Here are five things you get by saying no: 1. Time to do whatever you’ve put on the back burner. 2. Power to be more in control of your life. 3. Confidence to say no more often. The first time is the hardest. 4. Safety from overextending yourself. 5. Opportunities you didn’t even know were out there. Since you are more available, you'll find them! We are faced with choices that we have to say yes or no to every day. So you have to ask yourself, do you have the power to say “no”?

Thank you so much for reading and until next time, be shameless.

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