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This post is the third of three posts I am publishing on helping women have the confidence to say no in situations that don’t serve them. If you missed them click here .. 

Related post: How to have the confidence to say no part one

Related post: How to have the confidence to say no part two


What’s Behind Saying No .. Or Yes?

We would all love to say no with confidence, but that’s not always the case.

Behind every request, demand, plea or offer on our time are microcommunication actions. These actions can be relationship changers because they change the landscape of how we interact.

These actions take place in every word, gesture, facial expression, voice tone, emotion and mood, and body posture. How they’re utilized in saying no can make the difference between standing in your own authority or not.

The following tips will help you have the confidence to use these actions to stand in your own authority and say no when appropriate.


1. Commit To Commit At A Later Date with Confidence

Pause…and give yourself permission to make a different response, and consider whether it is a request, demand or plea.  You don’t have to commit right away. Someone else’s immediate doesn’t have to be your immediate.  Ask yourself…

Am I saying yes out of someone else’s urgency?

Emotions can and often do influence our decisions.  When you attach to these emotions, you are less likely to be in a resourceful position to choose a response. Humans naturally care about others. We experience the emotions of others.  Committing later reduces the chances we’ll be influenced by a request, demand or a plea.

Humans naturally care about others. We experience the emotions of others.  Committing later reduces the chances we’ll be influenced by a request, demand or a plea.


2. Ask For More Details – To Consider A Counter Offer

Before you commit ask for more details. There is nothing wrong with saying yes, but be very clear on what you’re saying yes to. By asking for more details you take personal responsibility for the part you play in the commitment.

By asking for more details you take personal responsibility for the part you play in the commitment.  Through this one action, the expectations of the other person will become very clear and you are less likely to feel hoodwinked into something you later want to back out of.

If you know what you’re getting yourself into, you’ll be less likely to make a response that doesn’t serve you.  Future conversations will be less emotionally charged when both parties know exactly what the commitment is.


3. Decline

There is nothing wrong with saying no. Even if it feels uncomfortable to say no it’s a great way to practice taking your own authority.

Saying no without explanation can be difficult. Why do we feel it’s necessary to give a reason for saying no?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question.  I assess it has to do with the emotions that sit beneath the actions.

When you’re not in the emotional space to say no, the chances are, when you do you’ll feel inclined to provide a valid reason to justify your decision. Saying no doesn’t require a reason.


3. Reflect On Your History

How many times do you say yes because you think it’s expected of you? When are you more likely to say yes?

Has saying yes become your default?  Do you have a strong relationship with saying yes because you simply don’t believe you have permission to say no?

You are the only one who can give yourself that permission.  No one else can do this for you.

So often we blame others for not getting what we want in life, and we rarely stop to think about the responsibility we play in our interactions. You will begin to change a historical and cultural narrative by observing your conversations.


4. Request Or Offer? Observe This

Remember in part 1 of this post I mentioned the two things going on when women just do? Observing whether someone is requesting or you are offering, and the difference between the two can be an interesting exercise for those of us who are so used to being the go-to person.

When you begin to observe the difference, you’re more likely to make different responses available to yourself, and stop offering if you choose.

At the very least when you observe what’s going on you’ll have the empowerment to make your offers with more careful intention and you’ll carefully choose the conditions of the offer to make sure you are satisfied to commit to what you’ve agreed upon.

Ask yourself this; What have I offered to do, when will I do it by, and how much time and emotional energy is required of me?

You don’t ever have to stop offering or saying yes to requests, but by observing you will put yourself back in the driver’s seat of your life.

You’ll now be more empowered to take life action that serves you.


5. Declare A Different Future

It can be difficult to break the cycle of saying yes.  What’s often required for change to stick is to declare a different future both privately and publicly. There are two very strong ways of doing this:

Declare to yourself that the future will be different 

Here’s four empowering declarations you can start with…

  1. “I am no longer a yes person and from now on when someone makes a request I will carefully consider my responses”
  2. “From this moment on, I’ll observe whether I’m making an offer or someone is making a request”
  3. “I give myself time and space to decide whether yes or making an offer is the best option for me”
  4. “I give myself permission to decline if doing the request doesn’t serve me”

Declare publicly that things will be different

This is a very powerful action.

Always saying yes in the past hasn’t served you. When you declare your intention to no longer be the yes person, plus the changes you intend to make, something very powerful takes place.

Consider this…this person asking something of you hasn’t observed the dynamics of the interaction and is unaware you always say yes or offer.

Declaring is an opportunity to explore a new narrative –  that you are a strong and intentional woman with confidence who is ready to step out into the world as a self-authoring adult.

You can explore what self-authoring means to you and what is going to be involved in making a change.  Do this in a mood of inquiry rather than a mood of resentment.

I truly hope you’ve enjoyed these tips, and that you’ll use them to confidently make decisions about how you spend your time. If you missed the first two posts in this series be sure to check them out here ..

Related post: How to have the confidence to say no part one

Related post: How to have the confidence to say no part two

What did you think of this post? Will you be doing anything differently the next time someone asks you for a favor, plea, or request? Let me know in the comments below!


I wish the best of care for you this day and every day.

Do you have any questions? Comments? Insights? I’m here to listen! Let’s chat below.

P.S. I also have a Facebook page where I’d love to chat with you and answer your questions! Click here and like my page.