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Old 03-23-2019, 05:15 PM   #1
ennie
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Default Saying "No"--Kudos & Rooms for Improvement

Recently, someone asked me for a favor and I said, "No." I usually say things like, "Well, I don't think I can..." (which is my version of "no") but this time, the actual N-O came out! Usually, I am thinking about how can I say "No" without sounding offensive, or what possible excuses I could come up with to get the person to leave me alone. But this time, I was not thinking about any of these things. I was only thinking about myself, precisely:

"I deserve not to be bothered all the time; I deserve to live in peace!"

Strange, I was never able to say the exact word "No" when I was actually thinking about saying "No" (LOL).

My counselor was so excited for me!

Now, this was a relatively new person in my life, whom I had not established an expectation in her mind that I would always say "Yes." She is also not likely to retaliate. So I feel that I've dealt with an easy case for a start.

I still need to learn how to say "No" to someone who has been accustomed to my "Yes" for many years, whom I fear retaliation from based on the history. Any tips?
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saying "No"--Kudos & Rooms for Improvement

Congratulations! That's great.

Thank you for starting this thread. It raises awareness about this kind of thing. It's interesting. I often say "Are you sure?" after I make a request, especially to my mother, but to others as well. I want people to know I'm not pushing. But at the same time, it's their job to tell me yes or no. I cannot read minds. It's just such an interesting issue. I know that I myself have said "ok yes" before, when I was uncomfortable with something. But it was not honest.

I don't have advice about the person who may retaliate. I'm sorry you have a person like that in your life though! How awful. Maybe someone else can give advice on that. Is it a coworker? Friend?
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saying "No"--Kudos & Rooms for Improvement

Have you looked at the skills & forms associated with the DBT section of interpersonal effectiveness? I have found it to be a great help in communicating "NO" & communicating needs.....though it still doesn't come easy for me but my challenges are a little more complex than "no".

What you did is an awesome start.....good for you.

Lol....lots of times I really don't feel like doing something but am on the fence about it because I enjoy doing those things......but I realize what a relief when the others are the ones who cancel.

Guess I don't want my NO answer to come too easy because I could get caught into my NO, not doing anything mode & that is hard to break for me too.

My daughter got used to my "no"answers growing up but I always qualified the "no" with a "come to me with a logical reason why I should say yes & I will reconsider" she learned to approach me logically rather than emotionally & usually convinced me that it was actually ok. It was an interesting & worthwhile exercise for both of us.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Saying "No"--Kudos & Rooms for Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by eskielover View Post
Have you looked at the skills & forms associated with the DBT section of interpersonal effectiveness? I have found it to be a great help in communicating "NO" & communicating needs.....though it still doesn't come easy for me but my challenges are a little more complex than "no".
Still trying to figure out where the DBT section is. Thank you for the info.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Saying "No"--Kudos & Rooms for Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by ennie View Post
My counselor was so excited for me!

Now, this was a relatively new person in my life, whom I had not established an expectation in her mind that I would always say "Yes." She is also not likely to retaliate. So I feel that I've dealt with an easy case for a start.

I still need to learn how to say "No" to someone who has been accustomed to my "Yes" for many years, whom I fear retaliation from based on the history. Any tips?
Last year (or maybe the year before), my counselor was also happy for me when I started walking away (saying "No" to listening to lectures for hours). Mostly, this person no longer does this and if he does because it is a heated moment, I can walk away again when I know it is getting to be too much. For the most part, people treat you the way you demand to be treated.

If there is someone in your life who retaliates when you say "No" then you need to take measures to protect yourself from them. They should not have access to your property and, hopefully, you can remove yourself from them. If it is a coworker that works in the cubicle next to you then when they retaliate, perhaps use what has been done to ask for your desk to be moved? If it is a family member, see them much less often?

When you say "No" to people, it sometimes reveals who they really are. If you have been saying "Yes" for many years, they will be upset at first but if they love you, after a while, they will accept the new boundary. If they aren't loving in a healthy way then they will only be "loving" when they get their own way. I think we say "Yes" to everyone because we have learned to priortize others rather than ourselves. It is a form of disrespect for ourselves.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Saying "No"--Kudos & Rooms for Improvement

I just google/search for it on the internet. (I actually had 2 intense years of DBT several years ago now) This site is a good overview....you might find more good ones too

Interpersonal Effectiveness
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Old 03-24-2019, 02:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saying "No"--Kudos & Rooms for Improvement

I'm happy for you! It must've taken a lot of courage to say that.
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Saying "No"--Kudos & Rooms for Improvement

Great job ennie! Congratulations!
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Saying "No"--Kudos & Rooms for Improvement

Congratulations, ennie! I completely agree with what all the others have already wisely said better than I ever could. Saying "No" to others is certainly not easy, but it's a BIG step forward when it comes to our own boundaries and our own self-love and self-respect. Good job! Be proud of yourself for that! I'm sure things will get a bit easier for you now. Just keep working on yourself and you'll rock! Stay strong! Stay safe and take good care of yourself! Thank you so much for making this thread! I'm sure it will encourage and inspire many other people here on PC. Sending many hugs to you, ennie. You're a strong, wonderful person. You rock! Keep fighting!
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: Saying "No"--Kudos & Rooms for Improvement

Good for you ENNIE! its so hard to say no. I had to learn it when I got sober having been raised as a people pleaser. Its very freeing when you do it more often. The other thing I do when I am leaning towards no but have a couple of things to think through about it is I will say " Let me think about it and get back to you". This way it can never be misconstrued as a yes. And when I have thought about it and the answer is no I will say " Ive thought about it and No, I can do that (for you, etc)". Sometimes saying you have thought about it give the 'no' more weight and if there are questions you can repeat it " No, sorry I have thought about it and the answer is still no". I had to learn that "no" is a complete sentence. No more explaining needs to be done. You are awesome!
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