Sensitive people and Empaths find it especially difficult to say no. They already feel responsible for the other people’s emotions without being the direct cause of them. Saying no can in fact be so difficult for sensitive people that they just don’t do it. They instead say yes to things they have no interest in, no benefit to derive from, no desire at all to be a part of. They say yes because it’s just too hard to say no.
Sometimes this works out well! People broaden themselves by doing things they don’t want to do. For instance, if everyone only said yes to eating what they knew they liked, kale wouldn’t even be a thing.
Always project yourself as having a lot going on.
People with known busy schedules don’t offend others when they can’t make the barbecue because no one is expecting them to be available in the first place. And here’s the thing… you don’t have to be busy in the social or professional sense to be busy in general. Maybe you’re just busy watching TV. That’s totally legit, and yet it’s for you to know. Get used to telling people that you’re working on a project, or that you have another involvement or something equally as vague that sounds much more important than “I’ll be busy making a sandwich and watching YouTube videos of baby pandas.”
Know your yes.
Every no is a yes to something else. When you pick strawberry ice cream, maybe you’re technically rejecting the vanilla and mint ice cream but nobody thinks of it that way. When you focus your mind on what you’re saying yes to, you’ll have the energy of choosing instead of the energy of rejecting.
Know your rights.
Bottom line, you have a right to fill your time with whatever you want, and other people don’t have the right to know what that is. There are those who will act like they have a claim to your hours and your privacy – well, they are the ones being presumptuous, not you. You don’t have to make a big deal about this but just knowing in your heart that it’s your right to decline without reason will empower your position.
You can opt-out of an idea and opt-in to the person proposing it. Make it clear with a lot of affinity and warmth that your decision to answer in the negative is only because the idea isn’t a good fit for you, even though the person presenting it is right up your alley. It helps when you genuinely like people. Make a habit of finding lots of reasons to like people and this vibe will come naturally to you. They'll feel your acceptance without you having to say much. They’ll soften around you and they’ll decide not to take offense when you can’t do everything they want you to do because they’ll feel at their core that you really like them.
Understand how "no" helps "yes."
Marketers call it the Law of Scarcity: people want what they can’t have. If something is rare, it is perceived as having more value. If you decline most offers, the few that you accept will feel very special indeed. They will cherish your time and crave your approval. On the other hand, saying yes to everything devalues what you have to offer. So you’re actually doing everyone a favor when you say no often. Your building mystique and excitement around you, making your company into a prize.
Grace takes practice.
No one is born graceful, not even a prima ballerina. Like physical grace, social grace takes practice. Many hours go into building that core of strength that is the essence of grace. And you’ll never get practice in saying no by agreeing to everything. For this reason, “no” should be a daily habit of yours and just as easy for you to say as “yes” is. I hope these tips empower you to make the choices that best represent what you really want to do with your one precious life!