What do these individuals have in widespread: A savvy salesman who can’t sever the connection together with his enterprise accomplice who takes benefit of him; a reliable girl enterprise proprietor who manages 20 staff however can’t say “no” to requests from her grownup daughter; and a wise accounting government who tolerates years of emotional abuse by his “buddy?”
These three people, and plenty of others who contact me for assist with nervousness, expertise a standard and demanding side of Social Anxiousness Dysfunction: an absence of assertiveness. Sometimes, socially anxious individuals go years with out realizing that a significant component of their stress stage is feeling the necessity to please different individuals at their very own expense. In consequence, they incessantly say “sure” to others once they actually wish to say “no.”
[If you’re unclear about the difference between passive, aggressive and assertive behavior, see this blog article.]
Let’s study why you will have issue asserting your self if you wish to and how one can make the most of a couple of assertive communication strategies to face your floor.
Why Do I Say “Sure” Once I Need to Say “No”?
When you have social nervousness, you worry that others will reject you when you disappoint them. You don’t wish to be kicked out of “the tribe” by your coworkers, household or mates. So that you acquiesce to others’ requests. Though you usually really feel taken benefit of, you’re afraid to face up for your self. That is problematic for a number of causes.
First, different individuals get used to you doing their bidding and they’re going to proceed to impose upon you so long as you allow them to. Every time this happens, your shallowness suffers.
Second, your resentment towards somebody who retains profiting from you simmers on the again burner till one in every of two issues occurs: both you will have an offended outburst, otherwise you begin avoiding them. Both manner, you’ve boxed your self right into a nook you don’t know tips on how to get out of.
Third, you are worried that saying “no” will result in a confrontation. You think about worst-case eventualities wherein the opposite individual seeks revenge or ends the connection totally. So that you simply hold saying “sure”, really feel increasingly confused, and stroll round pondering others are treating you unfairly. What doesn’t happen to you is which you could flip the state of affairs round to your individual benefit.
Learn how to Say “No” Assertively
There are two elements to saying “no” to others. One is predicting how they’ll react and the second is using assertive communication methods to face your floor.
What To Count on When You First Say “No” – Since others are used to you saying “sure,” if you first say “no,” they’ll attempt to persuade you to do what they need. You’ll in all probability have to say no their request a number of occasions earlier than they consider that “no” actually means “no.”
It’s additionally potential that they are going to be considerably displeased as a result of they’re used to getting their manner. However so what? The probability of them severing the connection merely since you declined a request might be slim – – though it may occur. It’s a must to determine if assuaging your stress and standing up for your self is well worth the threat.
Your purpose in saying “no” is to face your floor and stroll away together with your head held excessive – – which can enhance your shallowness and reduce your fears about displeasing others. IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s NOT your job to unravel the opposite individual’s downside; that’s their duty.
A way for predicting how others will reply and making ready your self to deal with it’s the topic of a remedy strategy known as Assertive Protection of Self. Right here is a hyperlink to a weblog article that explains it.
4 Strategies to Say “No” Assertively
- Inform the Reality, Spare the Particulars – Whenever you decline one other’s request, be trustworthy and hold it temporary. Frankly, the one that retains asking you to do issues for them doesn’t care why you may’t do it, or that it stresses you out. In the event that they did, they wouldn’t hold making calls for on you. Some examples of tips on how to say “no” succinctly and in truth are:
“I don’t have time in my schedule to do this.”
“I don’t lend out my automotive.”
“I can’t allow you to with that.”
- Do Not Apologize or Justify – You will have the fitting to say “no” with out saying you’re sorry or giving the explanation why you may’t accommodate somebody’s request. They aren’t fascinated by excuses, they only need their downside solved. Extra importantly, the extra particulars you give them, the extra “ammunition” they’ll must attempt to persuade you to say “sure.” Right here’s an instance of an unassertive response in your half: “I’m sorry, however that day I’ve a health care provider’s appointment after which I’ve to choose up my son from soccer follow.” The issue with apologizing and justifying is that they’re prone to come again at you with one thing like this: “Oh that’s okay, you are able to do it one other day…” A extra assertive reply from you’ll be: “I’ve an excessive amount of on my plate to take that on.”
- Use the Damaged Document Method – You’ll in all probability must repeat your self a number of occasions till they understand that you just actually imply “no.” Faux that you’re placing the needle of a document participant again on the identical track over and over. Don’t allow them to side-track you onto different points. As a substitute, keep on with your “speaking factors” (just like the politicians do) and calmly however firmly repeat what you simply stated with slight variations:
“I’ve a battle that day.”
“I’ve different plans then.”
“I’m tied up at the moment.”
Saying “No” Has Huge Payoffs
My purchasers who use these assertiveness methods are amazed at how properly they work. Not often do their worst predictions come true. And even when others are mildly displeased, they inform me that the payoff of their elevated self-confidence and shallowness is value it!
Randy Weiss, LCSW
Nationwide Social Anxiousness Heart of Phoenix