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 Wish Magazine November 2004

Learning to Say "No"

Is it time to say “Yes” to “No”? How often do you take on too much at home? At work? Accommodating others? Giving in? It’s time you did what you wanted for a change without automatically feeling guilty about not saying yes. Here are some tips to help you go from “Yes” to “No” once in a while.

1. Practice saying “No.” Use the mirror and a tape recorder, or role-play with a friend. A rehearsal will help you develop your skills – and your courage.

2. Be prepared. Develop a series of stock answers you can pull out of your bag. The next time you’re about to say “Yes” but really want to say “No,” reach into your bag for a response that fits – like, “I’m sorry I have a family commitment that day.” Eventually, you’ll be a pro with or without the crib note.

3. Start small. You do not have to say “No” to everything! Whether it’s saying “No” to shoes in your home, picking up the dry cleaning or taking on another client, a little “No” can go a long way. If saying “No” to family or friends feels overwhelming, start with a telemarketer.

Saying “Yes" can be like dining at a buffet with too many choices. Instead of filling your plate, be selective and go a la carte. Exercise your right to say “Yes” to “No”! – Deborah L. Mecklinger, LL.B., M.S.W. Visit walkthetalkcoaching.com.

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