Saying No and Setting Boundaries

Acceptance and Refusal

Saying "yes" when a "no" is meant erodes self-esteem. Remember always, that each one has the right to say no. When pressured for an unwanted "yes", practice the Broken Record technique when declining with a no. Repeat your no's with as few excuses as possible. While doing so, keep in mind the cost (such as time, stress, resources) an unwanted "yes" might extract from you. Hang on to your no firmly. Ensure that the "no" is accompanied with a calm posture and even tone of voice.

To build up your capacity to say no, practice stating no in easy situations to build confidence.

In cases where an outright yes or no is not required, such as when there is partial agreement, state a qualified yes. Simply put, agree to the request but set clear boundaries as to what is acceptable and not acceptable to you. This is your right.

For example, your boss requires that you stay overtime. You agree, but only until 9:00pm, so you state, "Yes, I can take some extra work tonight. I'll stay until 9:00pm tonight."

Situations which call for the expression of boundaries include instances when generosity is taken advantage of and welcome is overstayed.

Send mail to Joseph R Plazo with questions or comments about this book. Copyright © 2000 Exceed International Last modified: December 28, 2000

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