How to say no

How to say no

One of my new favorite Netflix shows is Dead to Me. It is a dark show about a husband who was killed in a hit and run accident. The driver who hit him befriends his wife in an effort to make amends. I told you it was dark.

The best part of the show is how easily and effectively the wife (played by Christina Applegate) is able to say no. Watch this video to see how she does it with so many different types of people and scenarios. Beautiful, right? She just says no, and she means it.

The video was being circulated on social media, and it made me wonder why saying no so hard, especially for women. This skill is actually one that I feel like I have gotten better at with age, but some times when I say no, I feel rude, selfish, and like I am disappointing the person who asked for something.

I have come up with a few standard phrases for when I am caught off guard or do not feel comfortable saying no up front. Here are two that work really well for me.

  1. Let me think about and get back to you.
  2. I cannot commit to anything else right now. I have other things that need to take priority.

Lying instead of saying no can backfire, so I try to either say no upfront or use one of my standard phrases.

I have also learned over the years that you cannot please everyone and overcommitting yourself is draining both physically and emotionally. And guess what? It is ok to have down time. I would also argue that down time is even more important as we age. I know for me, I need more time to recharge than I used to, and I am learning that is ok.

What about you? Are you good at saying no? How do you say it gracefully? I am always looking to add more to my self care toolbox!

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