Struggling to say no?

Saying no is like a muscle. You get stronger with practice.

If you know you could use some practice, here are three supporting ideas, curated from Twitter for you.

The No folder

Tweet from Dr Gretchen Hansen

I have an email folder labeled "No" where I put all of the things I say no to and feed bad about. Then when I am feeling overwhelmed I look in the folder and remember that it would be much worse if I had said yes to those things. And then I feel slightly better.

This is brilliant because often the immediate pain of saying no overshadows the long term gain. Collecting up your ’no’s helps you to recognise your progress and reinforce your decisions. When you look back and realise you don’t regret any of those ‘missed opportunities’, your future self really will thank you for it.


The No buddy / committee

Tweet from Adam Ward

I have a "no buddy" who I text when I say no to things. She sends back positive affirmation that I made a good choice and celebrates my "no" with me. And vice versa. This "no buddy system" works with friends of any discipline!

A comment further down the thread also refers to this as the No committee. We often find it easier to say other people’s no’s for them. So as well as celebrating & affirming each other, we can also go to our “no” committee for help and encouragement.

I’m always grateful when one of my colleagues upholds a boundary with a client where I might be tempted to waver.

Other ideas in this thread included the ‘No’ calendar, and having a ‘No’ quotient – along the principle of “what gets measured gets done”

But finally, here’s one that a contact privately messaged to me:


The #DNR tag

Private message comment

On a similar note to the 'no' folder, in our CRM I tag bad clients with #DNR for Do Not Resuscitate to help me stay strong in case they come back another time.

If you didn’t manage to say no the first time round, this one makes sure you don’t fall into the same trap if comes round again!

Which of these would you use? And what would you add?

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