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  • Writer's pictureRuth

How to Say No - Setting Boundaries

Learning how to say no and set your boundaries comes to a lot easier as you learn to respect yourself.

Weird right? Of course, you respect yourself. You wouldn’t let anyone just punch you for banter or steal your work and get the credit. But I’m talking about the respect for your time, your effort, your heart and your character.

When you respect your time, you may not agree to take on someone else’s task for the 3rd time that month, because it would mess up your self-care day.

When you respect your effort, you’ll say no when something demands more of you that (yes you could probably still manage to do but) would leave you exhausted.

Learning to say no is part of setting boundaries for yourself. Everybody has boundaries whether we see them or not, but a lot of us-especially people pleasers-let others overstep them then get annoyed/upset with the consequences.

I learnt that the hard way myself. It wasn’t till I made a friend with someone that say no more than he says yes and got a telling off from my mentor for taking too much on and compromising my time to study that I realised:

I have a problem with saying no.

So, here’s me talking to you and myself at the same time. I have gotten better at this but girl, learning how to say no and set boundaries only gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the more you respect yourself and the more people learn to respect those boundaries too.

So, here’s how to say no.

Know what you want to do and not, what you like and don’t etc.

When you people challenge those boundaries e.g. “are you sure you can’t do x?” “Please can you do x?!” “you’d be soo good at this! You should x” you can say:

Simply “No thank you.”

“Thanks for the recommendation/compliment but no thank you”

“I’ll have to get back to you” – this buys you time to consider what they’ve asked of you and you can choose the easier mode to say no/yes e.g. via text or face to face

“I would love to but I can’t this time”

Stick to your boundaries – try not to waiver. Don’t double-back on your word. Trust it. Even if you end up regretting your decision, you probably won’t regret following how you felt at the time.

Remember you are more than what you do for others and no close relationship is worth the upkeep if it’s mainly based on you being a “YES” Girl.
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