How To Say No And Mean It

How To Say No And Mean ItIf you are one of those people that doesn’t like to rock the boat, chances are saying no has always been a problem for you.  It is not unusual for people with weight problems to focus more on pleasing other people than on taking care of themselves so agreeing to every request, even though it may interfere with your weight loss plans is easier and less stressful for you than saying no.  If find yourself cringing at the thought of having to say no, or if you are doing too much and feeling stressed because of all the things you’ve agreed to do for others, it is time to learn how to say no…and mean it.

Saying No

Saying no to someone is not rude. It is not unkind, and should not come from a place of emotion. If you do not have the time to volunteer with an activity, or you are committed to your new, healthy way of life after bariatric surgery and a friend wants you to attend a function that you know will be difficult for you, no is the only appropriate answer to the request.

Ways To Say No

The easiest way to say no is, “No, thank you” but there are other variations. If you cannot volunteer for something but will be free later in the month you can say, “I don’t have time to help with anything else until the end of the month. Keep me in mind if something comes up then, ok?” There are many ways to say no and be clear about what you are able to do for others without feeling bad about turning down the request.

If you have to turn down an invitation to a social function or dinner because you don’t feel you are quite ready for it after your surgery, try explaining this to your friend.  Use the explanation as an opportunity to reaffirm your commitment to yourself as you share it with your friend.  Offer an alternative outing with your friend that you will find easier.

When Someone Won’t Take No For An Answer

Sometimes saying no once isn’t enough. When a person does not take no for an answer the first time and proceeds to give a reason or argument for why no should not be an answer, stand firm. There doesn’t have to be an increase in anxiety or anger, just repeat, “I’m not going to be able to do that for you.” Adding qualifiers like, “I’m sorry” or “I feel so bad, but…” will just give the other person reason to think if they keep pushing, eventually you will give in and say yes. Stop the argument and convincing before it starts by being polite but firm, leaving no room for confusion.

Not everyone will understand the changes that you are making in your life and some may even find these changes threatening.  No one likes to feel left behind so be prepared for a little pushback from friends if you have to change the status quo and turn down requests you would normally have agreed to.

With a little practice you will be able to politely say no to people when the request is going to increase your stress or work against your weight loss plans.  Though you may feel uncomfortable at first, you will notice this discomfort is easier to handle than the feelings that come with saying yes to things that cause you stress.

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