The Stop People Pleasing Action Plan: Say No

Say No to being a people pleaser!  Your days of being a people pleaser are over. From here on out, you’re going to learn a new way to think about being nice – without being ground into the dirt for doing so.

The 4-Step Stop People Pleasing Action Plan:
Say No

·           Stand up

·           Say No

·           Be Yourself

·           Put Yourself First

To say no can be terrifying. Being assertive is a lot easier in comparison, simply because it’s so much simpler to state how you feel about something than it is to turn down someone else’s request outright.


Most people have an innate desire to please those around them. Telling someone ‘no’ is risky, even dangerous in some ways. Not only are you going to let someone down, but it might change your relationship with that person somehow. You start wondering about what it would mean if you lost this person’s respect or support.


Here's where you need to ask yourself just how much the other person's opinion matters. After all, if they're going to hold a grudge or be angry that you said no, then maybe they didn't have your best interests at heart in the first place. After all, why would they be upset about you exercising your right to say ‘no’ to something?


That's not to say that someone important won't be disappointed if you give them a ‘no,' but those relationships tend to weather these kinds of storms. Friends and family tend to be supportive of your decisions.

Remember, the people who are the most upset about a “no” are usually the ones that will take the most advantage of you.

1. Why are you saying ‘no’?
A clear understanding of why you’re saying no means it is less likely you can be talked into changing your mind.

A strong resolve, well thought out and understood, will make your ‘no’ confident and strong enough to stand on its own.

2. Don’t say ‘no’ immediately
Tell the other person you need time to think. It creates a little distance, which helps you to see the situation clearer and become a bit surer of your answer. It also keeps you from being bullied into an immediate response.


3. Watch your wording
Are you telling people you can’t do something or won’t do it? ‘Won’t’ puts people on the defensive and invites an argument. ‘Can’t’ implies that if the situation were different, you would be glad to help. A ‘no’ expressed goes a long way toward diplomacy.


Why is this important? Mostly because the main reason people hate saying ‘no’ is because they don’t like confrontation. They are often afraid that turning someone down is going to create an uncomfortable situation. Having the right words that keep the situation from turning unpleasant should make your ‘no’ that much easier to say.


4. Drop the long explanations
Telling the other person all the reasons why you’re saying ‘no’ only makes you look insincere, or that you’re giving excuses. Remember, you don’t need to offer anything more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ If you want to say anything extra at all, keep it very simple. Instead of, “I can’t make that weekend, my daughter is in a dance recital” stick with “I can’t make that weekend.”


5. Look for the compromise
Maybe you don’t want to chair the committee, but you don’t mind serving on the committee in another capacity. That enables you to couple your ‘no’ with an alternative suggestion.


6. Remember you’re refusing the other person, not rejecting them
It’s not personal, nor should it be. There’s nothing wrong with telling someone ‘no,’ nor should it impact your relationship with them. If it does, then it’s possible the relationship wasn’t healthy to begin with.


7. In the case of repeat askers, put yourself in their shoes
Why are they asking more than once? It’s possible that they feel as though no one is hearing them. Try repeating back what they’re asking when you give their reply so that they know they’ve been heard.


8. Say yes sometimes
While this seems an odd thing to add onto a list about saying ‘no,’ stop a minute and think about it. Chances are you have some people in your life that ask you to do things for them on a regular basis. Saying ‘no’ every single time they ask isn’t good for any relationship.

Say ‘yes’ once in a while but only to the things you want to do. If you find that you truly don't want to say yes to anything this person asks you to do, then it's time to examine the role this person has in your life. Why are they still there? It might be that you’ve outgrown this friendship, or never had a strong relationship in the first place.


When you say no, as with anything in life, the most important thing to remember is that you need to be true to yourself first and foremost.


Anytime you agree to something because you think you ‘should’ for some reason or another, you’re compromising yourself. That isn’t healthy and will come to be something that you regret. Avoid that now by saying ‘no' to the things that you genuinely don't want to do.

Taking action and doing something about the circumstances or things you don't like is very empowering. Think back on a time when you've taken a stand or done something to change your situation instead of complaining about it. I bet your confidence went through the roof once you started talking action.

From here on out, I want you to think of complaining as a clue to take action. When you hear yourself complain about something, or when you start thinking about complaining, stop and ask yourself what you can do about it. What can you do to change and improve the situation? Not only is it much more productive use of your time and energy than whining and complaining, it is also a great way to build your courage and self-confidence and say no.

Say No and Other Confidence Boosters