How often do you find yourself saying, “Yes” when what you really want to say  is, “No?”

Does any of this sound familiar?

Do you say “Yes” to:

  • People who know all the right guilt buttons to push, and “Won’t take, ‘No’ for an answer.”

That’s called manipulation and a power play.

  • Projects you really don’t have time for but accept because the other person is, once again, so desperate for your help.

That’s called taking advantage of you.

Note:  Look around and you’ll probably discover they never bother asking people they know will turn them down—just sweet little you.

  • Events you have no interest in, but agree to attend hoping you’ll be seen in a good light.

That’s insecurity with a capital “I” or worse – disingenuous self-aggrandizement.

  • Saying “Yes,” to anything—because you can’t think of a gracious way to say, “No.”

That’s letting fear get the best of you.

Okay.  We’re all probably guilty of caving in to at least one of the above and then hated ourselves for getting sucked into doing something we didn’t want to do.  But sometimes what trips us up is being unable to think of that gracious way to say, “No.”

Try using one of these 3 simple, yet highly effective techniques to get, “No,” out of your heart and onto your lips:

  1. Don’t listen to that scaredy-cat inner voice that says, “She’ll never talk to me again.”

She’ll get over it, and if she doesn’t, well, you might want to question the health of a relationship where you can’t say “No,” without suffering dire consequences.

  1. Don’t give an immediate answer.

It’s perfectly acceptable to say, “Let me think about it and get back to you.  You don’t need a good excuse and you don’t need to be sorry for saying “No”.  But you may need time to get your thoughts together. Try writing them down and then practice saying them out loud.  Then get back to the person and say, “No.”

  1. Don’t lie.

Say something like this: “I hope you’ll understand when I say that with all I already have on my plate, I can’t add another thing.”  Then button your lips. You don’t need to make excuses and you don’t need to go on and on about all you’re already doing. If you mean it, you can say you’d be willing to help at another time—but only if you mean it.

Oh, one other thing about saying “Yes” and saying “No.”

 “ …Let your ‘Yes’ be “Yes,” and your ‘No,’ be “No.” Matthew 5:37

Forget “Maybe.”

“Maybe” is the wishy-washy cowards way of saying, “No.”

Don’t be that guy!

And, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10

It’s been said that courage is a muscle and that “No” is a word that will help you strengthen it.

Ask the Lord to help you be both courageous and gracious. He’ll give you just the right words to say when you need to say them.

Start saying “Yes” to “No” when it’s the right thing to do—the result will be a happier, healthier less stressed you.

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