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Permission & Power to say no is yours

Updated: Apr 2

Power to say no - image of woman holding hand out in "stop" position

A friend had some ideas for our blog, and asked us to write a post titled, “How to say No.” The fact is, most of us learned “no“ as one of our first spoken words. We know how to say it—but we forget that we have *permission* to not only say it, but mean it, and not let people run over us if they want us to behave differently.

If you listen to yourself, you will intuitively know the right time use this tiny, powerful word.

I think many people may not know the works of Harriet Lerner. One of the core concepts she teaches in her “Dancing with” books is that if we speak our truth in our interactions and say no, we are highly likely to get a “change back!” message from the people for whom our yes was more comfortable. We must be able to tolerate and hold onto our truth. Undoubtedly, as you make this change the boat rocks.

"No" can sound like this:

I understand you need a president on the committee. No, I’m not able to give that energy at this time.

OR even bolder, shorter & simpler “no.” And then mean it. When the "change back" message comes "Will you reconsider?" Be ready for it. "My answer has not changed."

You are in charge of your life. Only you can give yourself permission to live it exactly as you need it to be. You have the power to say no, and more—you have the power to hold that truth when the change back message comes.

If you need to talk to someone to help you recapture the strength to say "no", HOLD is here for you.

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