Responsibility Answers: How do I say no?

So, you’ve caught yourself in a situation where you want to say, “No,” and for some reason you feel like you can’t, or shouldn’t.

Responsibility Answers

How do I say no?

Somebody wrote in and asked, “Christopher, how do I say no?” Great question.

Anytime that we ask the question, “How do I take responsibility for X,” there’s a few steps to finding the answer.

The first step is always realize that I am in some way, choosing, creating, or attracting the situation.

I’m not a victim of a boss, or a spouse, or somebody else putting me in a corner.

I chose this relationship, and it’s up to me to have yes and no, both be allowable answers.

I’ve heard it said that if yes is the only acceptable answer, then yes isn’t meaningful.

So from early on in relationships, I make sure that I’m allowed, within that relationship, to say yes to requests and also to say no to requests.

That’s one thing to think about.

The next step is to ask “What do I want?”

So, you’ve caught yourself in a situation where you want to say, “No,” and for some reason you feel like you can’t, or shouldn’t.

So what do I want? What do I want in this situation?

Well, I want to say, “No,” but I also want their approval.

So often our saying “Yes,” when we mean no is because we are seeking approval. We don’t want to be disapproved of by boss, teammates, spouse, child, parent, etc.

So then, what do I want?

Well, I both want their approval and I want to say, “No.” So how do I get that?

Well, there’s a thousand ways to get that.

Say, “No,” with love. Say, “No,” with compassion. Tell the truth.

I’ll just leave you with this one last thing.

Don’t justify it. Don’t say, “Oh gosh, I’d really like to say yes, except time, money, effort, whatever.”

Don’t justify it. Own your no.

I hope that you find this useful. Let me know. You’ll find more Responsibility Answers on our resources page.

Send all your questions to me at hello@responsibility.com.

To your freedom, choice and power, and all my love. Take care.

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