Saying no isn’t necessarily a comfortable thing for many of us. We’re not taught how to have boundaries as adults and often, we find ourselves feeling put out by the intrusion of others. While people might not mean to, they’re often trampling all over our comfort zones and free time with their demands on our time and social limits.
But having a healthy relationship with the word no can turn things around for you quickly. And it’s not as difficult as you think.
One of the first things you need to do if you’re hoping to get better at saying no, is to understand your own boundaries. Do you prefer quiet Friday nights at home catching up on your favourite shows? Do you avoid public speaking when you can? Do you like to ride the tube in silence while listening to your music?
Understand what you want and what you don’t.
From there, you learn to decline invitations and requests quickly and politely. Don’t hem and haw and agonise over decisions that dwell outside of your boundaries—tell the person immediately that you appreciate the offer or the request, but you’re not interested.
The word ‘no’ is like a muscle that gets stronger (and more resilient) the more often you use it!