Learn To Say 'No' Like a Man

My client, whom shall remain nameless since I don't organize and tell, had been working diligently through piles of papers to create a file system. At the end of our session, I suggested that she spend some time conquering said piles until we meet again. She told me that she simply did not have any room in her schedule for the next two weeks to do such a thing.

Hmmm.....seriously? Not even 15 minutes?

I asked to take a look at her schedule, not because I didn't believe her, but because a light bulb went off. Her schedule overload and paper piles are connected. Eureka!!

Sure enough, her days were loaded to the brim. I don't know when she had time to eat or do any of the other personal daily things that need to take place. Every minute of her day was booked from the time she woke until she crashed into bed.

I asked her why on earth did she take on so many responsibilities and you know what she said?"I just don't know how to say no to people."

BOOM! There it is.

Many women have trouble saying no for a variety of reasons. We are natural nurturers, we aim to please, we like to lighten others loads and then of course there's that thing called guilt.

Saying "yes" all the time to things you do not want to do or have time for can lead to chaos in your life. Plus you'll be grumpy and who needs that crap?

Men on the other hand, are masters at the art of saying "no." Yes, let's give credit where it is due. And they can do it completely guilt-free. I think we can learn a lesson or two from the boys. Seriously, let's learn to say NO like a man.

First, it's important to note that these things will NOT happen to you if you say NO:
• The person asking you for the favor will not hate you (at least not forever)
• The guilt you have over saying no will not burn a hole in your heart
• You will not pass out
• You will not die

I'm breaking it down so saying NO is easy peasy. Take these scripts and practice at home in front of the mirror or better yet, use them when someone asks you to do something.

Lesson 1 -- Say No Without Excuses
Did you ever notice when you're asked to do something you list all the reasons why you can't? It's almost like we're trying to convince ourselves not to take on anymore. Here's what I mean.

Me: "Can you chair our bookfair fundraiser?"
You: "Oh...I'd like to but I'm super busy at work right now. I'm training three new teachers and still trying to get the classrooms in order and then there's the paperwork for the DOE. I'm swamp until at least mid-October and.........."
Me: "Perfect, we're not starting to plan the fundraiser until the end of October."
See that? All those excuses left an opening. When saying no, less is more.

Now here's how a man would do it.
Me: "Can you chair our bookfair fundraiser?"
Man: "Nope, I'm too busy at work."
Done. No way in. Dang.

Lesson 2 -- The Guilt-Free No
That guilt thing can plague you for days. I've experienced it myself (damn you Catholic guilt). Woman are givers and we genuinely want to help others so here's a way to say no, but give at the same time.

Me: "Can you help us make sets for the play this year? You're are so creative and we'd love to have an expert like you on our team."
You: "I'd love to help you but unfortunately I'm not available. ______________(insert name of another person) would be perfect for this."
Are you thinking that referring someone else for the job is wrong or that you'll experience guilt over that? Don't recommend a close friend who you know is already overloaded. Remember, the person you mentioned does not have to say "yes." You are simply making a suggestion. In other words, GET OVER IT SISTER!

Now let's see how a man would respond.
Me: "Can you help us make sets for the play this year? You're so creative and we'd love to have an expert like you on our team."
Man: "Thanks for the compliment. I'm not available."
Simple and direct. You've got to love it.

Lesson 3 -- The Delayed No
Sometimes we're completely caught off guard by someone's request. We were not expecting it and do not have anything prepared to say. Then we start to feel a sense of panic like, "Crap, now what do I do? I really don't want to take this on!" Here's how to handle it.

Me: "Could you fill in as coach for the team next Sunday?"
You: "I have to take a look at my schedule and get back to you. I'll email you later."
This is great because one, you've bought yourself more time, and two, you can simply send an email or text saying no instead of being face to face. Avoiding confrontation? Abso-friggin-lutely.

Here's the dude version
Me: "Could you fill in as coach for the team next Sunday?"
Man: "Let me look at my calendar. (Takes out smart phone and answers on the spot). No, I can't do it".
Curt and unfeeling? Possibly. Effective? Hell, yes!


Here's something to ponder: Saying No To Others Is Saying "Yes" to Yourself

Learning to say NO to people is important. It doesn't mean that you're uncaring, bitchy or self-absorbed. It means that you value your time, well-being and happiness, so get on out there. Say NO to a request this week. Do it! Not only will you feel good, you'll also lighten your own load.