Grace: (n)simple elegance or refinement of movement; courteous goodwill.
We all want connection. Saying no can feel terrifying, especially if you are afraid of losing connection with someone you care about. Rejecting someone you love sucks.
In many cases, even if we don’t know the person, we want to avoid rocking the boat. But “not really saying no, and then hoping that the other person will somehow magically abide by it anyway” is not an effective strategy for maintaining your boundaries OR getting what you want.
Here are a bunch of ways to say no to loved ones, strangers, people selling you things, coworkers, lovers and everyone in between. Practice them all, and find the versions that work best for you.
(Download a printable, poster-sized PDF version of this graphic here.)
- You don’t have to justify your no. Resist the temptation to explain why it’s not a good fit, why you feel stomach-churny, or why you need to build more trust. Avoid making excuses.
- When you state what’s true about your experience, it’s harder to argue with you.
- You get to have boundaries.
- “No” is a complete sentence.
- When you say what you do want instead, it gives you both something to work from (if you want that.)
Need help untangling your boundaries? Scoop up a copy of my Better Boundaries Crash Course. It’s chock-full of useful nuggets that will help you get clear on how to say no, what to do if you’re a maybe and how to protect the precious parts of you that need it.