Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Art of Saying No

How often do you reply yes, when no is what you want to say? Does your
affirmative response spring from a sense of guilt about saying no?
Saying no in an assertive, non-aggressive, manner is difficult.  When
someone asks for something why not try saying, Let me think about that
for a bit and I will get back to you. This reply gives you time to
reflect on the request thoughtfully and carefully, before committing to
it. Ask yourself, is this a reasonable request? Check your body. Are you
breathing shallowly? Are you perspiring? Do you feel trapped, pushed
into a corner? Visualize yourself saying no. Practice saying no aloud.
Try to be proactive and practise this before you talk to someone you
know who may try to pressure you into saying yes. Forget long-winded
excuses. Simple, direct explanation will do. You have a right to choose
what you will and won't do. Are you doing what you honestly want to do
or what you feel others want you to do?

Art Therapy Exercise for Saying No

Have some paints or coloured pens and paper ready. Take some time to
breathe and feel settled in your chair. Do a quick body scan noticing
your feet, legs, back, stomach and chest. Write "no" in the middle
of your paper. Take a few moments to go inward and see what your
immediate body response is to the word. Do a quick word association and
write out from the "no" in the middle of the page all the words,
feelings and reactions that come to you. Finish the exercise by writing
or drawing all the things that you can think of that you would like to
say "no" to in your life. Now, on the other side of the paper write
or draw all the things that you would like to say "yes" to in your
life.

3 comments:

nacherluver said...

This is the second "say no" reminder I have gotten today! Synchronicity! The other was in the chapter I am reading (ch. 5) in "Walking in this World" by Julia Cameron.

I used to be a people pleaser to a fault. I would take care of everyone's needs but my own. I learned to say "no". At first it seemed impossible. It was very hard and there was guilt and other negative feelings associated. I forced myself to say "no" and the more I did it, the easier it got and the more liberated I have become.

What a valuable lesson you are sharing and a wonderfully creative process on how to approach it!

The Creative Beast said...

Thank you for this post Karen. I recently had an incident where a request was being made of me. Luckily for me, it was a request that was made by email so I took time to think it over as I went about my work and thought through how the request could be accomplished in a way that honored both parties involved.

It was still a challenge to fulfill the request, so the reminder to wait and think things through and to especially CHECK IN WITH YOUR BODY is a wonderful reminder =-)

Ms. ∆×∆p×≥h/4π said...

I sent this one on to three friends that may find it as useful as I do. Your posts always give me moments of reflection that calm my mind and encourage my spirit.

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