Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Ask Yourself, âAm I Feeling Controlled or Feeling Scared?â
Saying No and Feeling Good about It
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Learn ways to say âNoâ to what you donât want in your life so that thereâs more room for you to say âYesâ to what you do want. The following is an example of how a young woman used her creativity to learn to say âNo.â
Since Kathryn had struggled with guilt most of her life, she knew this guilt feeling was keeping her from experiencing the level of freedom she wanted. This guilt feeling linked to many weed-like beliefs and behaviors, such as (1) Kathryn believed she wasnât good enough; (2) she thought everything that went wrong was her fault; (3) she felt compelled to please others; (4) she felt responsible for fixing everyoneâs problems; and (5) she couldnât say no to other peopleâs requests for her time and energy because they might get mad at her. Underlying these beliefs, Kathryn discovered she held unrealistic expectations of herself, namely that she needed to be perfect and liked by everyone. Both of these expectations stemmed from a false sense of ego-vanity rooted in low self-esteem and conditioned responses from her childhood and growing up trying to please her mother.
Some non-assertive verbal samples are apologetic words, veiled meanings, hedging or failing to make a point, rambling, or failing to say what you really want.Â Some examples of assertive statements are honest statement of feelings, objective words, and using theâ I messages.â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kathrynâs first step to healing her faulty belief system was learning to say no to the many demands on her resources. She began this process by writing NO in eight-inch high, black letters across her front door to remind her to say it whenever she could. Whenever Kathryn did say no however, she noticed a high degree of anxiety and guilt would result.Â
She knew the only way she could feel good about herself was to go deeper in her quest, simultaneously confronting and dealing with both major issues (learning to say no and absolving her guilt). Hereâs how she did it.
Underlying guilt was blocking Kathryn progress toward developing the ability to say no. So Kathryn followed her therapistâs suggestion and wrote the words âLET IT GOâ on several yellow index cards and placed them at strategic points around house. Whenever she saw these cards, it reminded her subconscious to let go of the guilty feelings. Also, whenever she started to feel guilty, she would know it was a sign to command herself in loud, forcible words to âLET IT GO!â She practiced saying these words throughout the day.
It took her awhile to break through her denial and to consistently use this tool but she not only found that the command words helped her release feelings of guilt and perfectionism, today she only has to hear these words and she instantly relaxes. These command words will work for you in a similar manner once youâve mastered this technique.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kathryn used another technique of imagining by speaking to an empty chair or the mirror the many different ways of saying âNoâ using the Assertive Scripts that follow until it became comfortable for her to segue them into casual conversation. All of this happened gradually in a natural cycle of change. Kathryn took the process of change little by little, step-by-step, all the while receiving just what she could handle, at the pace she could handle.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kathryn found when she mastered the ability to say no, she was finally free of the guilt that had once plagued her. And when most of her energy wasnât tied up emotionally with faulty beliefs, her eating habits began to improve too.
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(1) Â Disagree with a straightforward statement (âI donât agree with your understanding of . . .â)
(2) Â Confront by denying the statement is relevant to the conversation (âThatâs not the point.â)
(3) Â Reword negative labels by framing it in positive words (âI am not being childish; Iâm stating my view.â)
(4) Â Repeat your main point until it is heard without anger
(5) Â Ask Questions if youâre not comfortable with a point, or ask for clarification (âHow do you see me as childish or selfish?â)
(6) Â State Feelings by using âIâ statements that reflect your opinion about the situation (âI really feel this is important!â)
(7) Â Be Short and Quick by just saying âNOâ directly
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â A word of caution when you first start to speak up you may experience aggressive statements such as loaded words, accusations, descriptive, subjective terms, imperious, superior words, and the use of âyou messages.âÂ For example rather than saying, âYou make me feel __________,â the speaker says, âI feel _____________when the floor is cluttered with your cloths.âÂ No one is to blame for someoneâs feelings.Â You have control over how you feel and with practice youâll learn others cannot make you feel a certain way.Â Youâll also learn that by your choices you can feel empowered with better self esteem.