Are you a chronic pleaser? Or just a “Yes” woman? Always overcommitting to everyone but yourself? I long suffered from over-doing, over-committing, over-promising, and always leaving myself feeling flat. While I was always “happy to help,” after a while I was frankly burnt out. I’ve learned (still learning) the error of my ways, it’s definitely a practice for me every-single-day. I’m happy to share the wisdom from today’s Blog Babysitter, the wonderful wordsmith, Michele Santo. Michele has a talent for saying just the right thing in a way that leaves you feeling empowered and everyone feeling cared for. Enjoy!
Squinting to my right, I saw the bride and groom posing with a thank you banner. Not the sparkly one I made by request. It looked printed. Maybe from Etsy? I couldn’t tell, but it put a bad taste in my mouth.
Like a Boiling Teakettle, I Was Done.
“I’m divorcing her for a very lonnng time!” I hissed.
“Shhhh! Her cousin is right there!” a bridal babe banged my elbow.
“I. Don’t. Care.” I whined.
At the fork of being a good friend and feeling bitten, my giving tree overextended its branches. Far enough without warmth on my back. From someone I thought had mine. Next time a, I’ll say no, with grace. (Script below.)
Why Do Self-Centered-ish People Hang On Your Branches?
Because you allow them. Until you say, “Kitchen’s Closed!”, people will order sushi pancakes with mochi on top. And green juice to go.
People want what they want. They’ll do whatever it takes. Only serve them if it feels good.
A phone works both ways. Streets have two lanes. If not, it’s full of potholes and you’ll eventually get a flat. Exactly how you’ll feel if you give too much.
Does Everyone Ask You For a Favor?
It feels good to be needed. Sure. But if the request stresses you out, I’m giving you permission to say no. In a firm, yet feminine way.
You teach people how to treat you. If you say yes when you mean no, you’re injecting the relationship with poison. You’re telling the other person it’s OK to make demands on me when I’m running a business as a single Mother and haven’t slept 8 hours in months.
If you say no, they’ll respect you more. Burn your Perfect Friend Award. It’s not real.
When to Say No
When the favor comes in, check in with your body. Close your eyes and tune into its innate wisdom. Breathe.
If the request makes you feel light or excited, your body is saying yes. If the request gives you stomachaches or you can’t breath, your body is saying no. Listen.
I’ll Have a Say No Sandwich, No Cheese, Please
Saying no is like making someone a sandwich. Craft your reply in three morsels, and you can say no to anything, any time.
The first piece of bread is a positive word or compliment. The filling is the truth. (Speak from your heart.) The other slice of bread is a positive tip or well wish.
If you’re up against the wall with a hand in your face, do six squats and use this script:
Hey [Person with their hand out’s name],
I’d love to help promote your program/scoop up your kid/be your roommate! However, I can’t this time. My plate is full with work and I promised myself three days at the gym. Maybe these folks can help: [Insert name of service/resource/helpful person]. Everything will work out.
That didn’t taste so bad, right?
Every time I craft a response like this, it works. I’m honest. They get it. No need to say sorry.
This sammy can satisfy the most irate customers and bossy bosses. Serve it up when you can’t deliver. Your word means everything. Keep it classy.
Over to you. Have you ever handed someone a truth sandwich? How did they react?
Saying no to others is saying yes to you,
Michele’s Bio: I’m a communication expert devoted to crafting your message. I believe words are powerful. They nudge people to invest in you or not. My forte? Helping you find the right words to get people psyched on your ideas. Plus, hired and published, too. My lessons on linguistics live on my blog. My words have been featured on digital storefronts, social scenes, and in books. When I’m not wordsmithing, I’m searching for the best gluten free bread. So far, Glutino is winning. Learn more about Michele’s work by checking out MicheleSanto.com
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