Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The ART of saying NO

The Art of Saying NO
Say YES when you mean YES, NO when you mean NO, OH when you mean OH

I am starting a new column for 2009 called: What’s your greatest challenge in relationships? This can be personal, professional and romantic. Currently I am offering a 15 minute telephone coaching session to anyone who responds to brainstorm solutions to your greatest challenges in relationships.

January’s newsletter is about how to say NO. I find myself having the conversation about how hard it is to say NO so often that I have decided to write an article about it. This seems to be a real challenge. It’s not that difficult to say YES but NO seems to be a challenge for a lot of people…and what about OH, yes, just OH.

We’ll begin with OH. Sometimes our friends and loved ones want to share a problem with us and we think we have to do something to resolve it. That’s where OH comes in. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying these people aren’t begging for us to get involved in their dramas and traumas. They are. Even if they don’t say it, they would love for us to take their problems off their hands. So that’s where OH comes in. When someone tells you their woes, and you’re clear that you don’t want to get involved, or even if you’re not sure if you want to get involved or not, try this: the response is just OH. It’s not OH? OR OH! Just OH. Uncharged. Simple. You will be amazed at how powerful and freeing this response can be. Many of us are just too ready and willing to jump in and attempt to solve problems that we can’t, shouldn’t be involved in, and don’t even want to be involved in but we don’t know how to stay uninvolved. OH.

NO is a whole different story. Why is it so hard to say NO? Here are some of the responses I get to that question: The other person will get mad at me. They won’t like me. I feel guilty after I say NO. The truth is that sometimes people do get mad when we say NO. They sometimes don’t like us after that. And sometimes, some people do expect us to feel guilty if we say NO. So the key is to remember who you are, and hold onto your own truth around your choices. “You can’t please all the people all the time…”

The art of saying NO is really a two part process. First you need to become clear about your response. I would like you try this practice. Next time someone asks you a favor and you want to say NO, take a moment to focus inside. Relax your belly, open your palms, take a deep breath into the belly and listen to your heart, your voice of truth. Now that you have decided on your response and for this example, let’s say it’s a solid NO, part 2 of the process is about how you say NO.

Did you know there are many different ways to say NO? Different personality types hear things differently. Have you ever noticed that people use different words and phrases to express themselves? We all see the world through different lenses, so to speak. So it would make sense that there are many different ways to say NO. Saying NO is not just about NO, it’s about how you say NO.

The art of saying No can be found in the Five Rings system that I use.

People who come from a predominantly water perspective are very feeling and emotional. They come from their heart. They usually talk a lot about feelings, theirs and others. They are sensitive. When expressing their opinions, they say, “I feel…” They want to feel heard.

Here’s how you say NO to a water person. Make sure to let them know you have heard their proposal, taken it to HEART and are going to say NO. A water person will come back a few times with different versions of the same request, like the tide keeps washing up onto the shore.
When they are clear that your NO is a NO, they will retreat.

People who come from a predominantly wind perspective are thinkers and analyzers. They come from their head. They talk a lot about thinking. When expressing their opinions, they say, “I think…” They want a more systematic NO. They want to hear that you made a list of pros and cons, a logic list, and considered all perspectives before saying NO. Once they feel that you have come to your decision logically and that your NO is a solid NO they will not challenge you.

People who come from a predominantly ground perspective are very solid in their approach. When expressing their opinions, you will hear them say things like, “I know this in my gut”. They come from their gut. They want to know that you are solid in your decision. Try using terminology like, “On my rock I stand”, or “I know in my gut that my answer is NO. They won’t push you.

People who come from a predominantly fire perspective are to the point. They come from a dynamic, very big picture perspective. When expressing their opinions, they will express them as if they are facts. They don’t even care why you are saying NO! They just want to know and want to feel that you are clear in your response. The just want you to make up your mind.

The recurring theme in all of these examples is that when a person is clear that your NO is solid they will accept it. People usually push until there is no where left to push.

If you know how to say NO and you know how to say OH, you can choose to say YES when you want to from a place of freedom and choice.

I would love to hear your stories of how these techniques worked for you. Please comment on my blog or drop me an email.

Diana Morgan, M.A., H.H.E., Minister
PO Box 553, Santa Rosa, CA 95402
707-548-7003 or 925-980-9052

For information about performing ceremonies: Blessings To You
For information about relationship workshops, coaching and marriage prep: Whole Heart Path

The #1 reason marriages break up is because they lose site of the love that brought them together. I help couples break through their personal barriers, opening their whole heart to experience their authentic connection. The Whole Heart Path awaits you...

1 comment:

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