We all have them; people that drive us to mentally figure out “How to Get Away with Murder“. They ask you to do something that you clearly don’t want to do, so you mutter, “No.” That clearly doesn’t deter them. They continue on, and very much like a child in the cereal aisle tormenting a tired parent on a shopping trip, they wear you down, until you just say yes, to get them as far away from you as possible.
Saying “NO” is a Complete Sentence
Boundaries are a beautiful thing. It gives you a line to where you can set them, and folks can see where they can push you- but no further. Boundaries are for you to set, forward or back, but it’s your job to set them. To some, they are easy to set; for the rest of us, setting boundaries takes some practice. Here are a few tips that work for me –
- Making sure your head is in agreement with your NO – Nodding your head while saying NO gives
the person asking an opportunity to wear you down. It may sound crazy, but see how you look when you say ‘no’. You’d be surprised how you may have been giving mixed signals unconsciously.
- Make sure your body isn’t betraying you – Your posture dictates when people can get away with foolishness. If you are standing up straight, and look like you are about a sense of purpose, it is less likely that people will bug you. If you look like the last kid picked for dodgeball, your posture is saying it’s a good time to get away with something inane.
- Find more than one way to say it – the moment you are asked, depending on the situation, screaming at the top of your lungs may not be the most appropriate way to answer the question. Find a different way to say it, and apply that way to the appropriate situation.
Remember – 1) it takes practice to maintain boundaries and 2) people will constantly try to move your boundaries to fit their agenda. Saying NO to someone or a situation is essentially saying YES to you and your own agenda. Self-care is NOT selfish, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
P.S. – I know that this isn’t the complete list on saying NO. What do you do to maintain your boundaries and keep your sanity?