Choose your words wisely
Do you automatically say "yes" to any new request that comes your way, without taking the time to evaluate its impact on your time and energy? We often say "yes" to avoid disappointing others or being seen as unhelpful, but constantly saying "yes" can lead to burnout, stress, and a lack of control over our own lives.
So how can we say "no" when necessary while maintaining healthy relationships?
In his book "The Power of a Positive No," negotiation expert William Ury provides a framework for saying "no" in a way that is constructive and respectful. The approach is called the "positive no", and it involves three steps:
- Start with a "Yes": Affirm your interests, values, and needs by stating what you can agree to or what you value.
- State your "No" clearly and respectfully: Be honest and clear about your refusal while also being considerate and respectful to the other person.
- End with a "Yes" to the relationship: Offer an alternative solution that meets both parties' needs and values while also honouring your boundaries.
Ury suggests using these phrases instead of saying "no" to keep the conversation open and positive: