WHY AM I AFRAID TO SAY “NO”? SOCIAL ANXIETY AND THE LACK OF ASSERTIVENESS
What do these individuals have in widespread: A savvy salesman who can’t sever the connection along with his enterprise companion who takes benefit of him; a reliable girl enterprise proprietor who manages 20 workers however can’t say “no” to requests from her grownup daughter; and a sensible accounting government who tolerates years of emotional abuse by his “pal?”
These three people, and lots of others who contact me for assist with nervousness, expertise a typical and irritating facet of Social Anxiousness Dysfunction: a scarcity of assertiveness. Sometimes, socially anxious individuals go years with out realizing that a significant component of their stress degree is feeling the necessity to please different individuals at their very own expense. Consequently, they regularly say “sure” to others once they actually wish to say “no.”
[If you’re unclear about the difference between passive, aggressive and assertive behavior, see this blog article.]
Let’s look at why you’ve got issue asserting your self if you wish to and how one can make the most of a number of assertive communication strategies to face your floor.
Why Do I Say “Sure” Once I Wish to Say “No”?
You probably have social nervousness, you concern that others will reject you when you disappoint them. You don’t wish to be kicked out of “the tribe” by your coworkers, household or buddies. So that you acquiesce to others’ requests. Though you usually really feel taken benefit of, you’re afraid to face up for your self. That is problematic for a number of causes.
First, different individuals get used to you doing their bidding and they’re going to proceed to impose upon you so long as you allow them to. Every time this happens, your shallowness suffers.
Second, your resentment towards somebody who retains benefiting from you simmers on the again burner till considered one of two issues occurs: both you’ve got an indignant outburst, otherwise you begin avoiding them. Both approach, you’ve boxed your self right into a nook you don’t know the right way to get out of.
Third, you are worried that saying “no” will result in a confrontation. You think about worst-case situations wherein the opposite individual seeks revenge or ends the connection completely. So that you simply hold saying “sure”, really feel increasingly more careworn, and stroll round pondering others are treating you unfairly. What doesn’t happen to you is which you could flip the scenario round to your individual benefit.
Tips on how to Say “No” Assertively
There are two features to saying “no” to others. One is predicting how they’ll react and the second is using assertive communication methods to face your floor.
What To Anticipate When You First Say “No” – Since others are used to you saying “sure,” if you first say “no,” they’ll attempt to persuade you to do what they need. You’ll most likely have to say no their request a number of instances earlier than they consider that “no” actually means “no.”
It’s additionally attainable that they are going to be considerably displeased as a result of they’re used to getting their approach. However so what? The chance of them severing the connection merely since you declined a request might be slim – – though it may occur. You must determine if assuaging your stress and standing up for your self is well worth the threat.
Your aim in saying “no” is to face your floor and stroll away together with your head held excessive – – which can enhance your shallowness and reduce your fears about displeasing others. IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s NOT your job to resolve the opposite individual’s downside; that’s their accountability.
A technique for predicting how others will reply and making ready your self to deal with it’s the topic of a remedy method known as Assertive Protection of Self. Right here is a hyperlink to a weblog article that explains it.
4 Strategies to Say “No” Assertively
- Inform the Fact, Spare the Particulars – Whenever you decline one other’s request, be trustworthy and hold it transient. Frankly, the one who retains asking you to do issues for them doesn’t care why you’ll be able to’t do it, or that it stresses you out. In the event that they did, they wouldn’t hold making calls for on you. Some examples of the right way to say “no” succinctly and in truth are:
“I don’t have time in my schedule to try this.”
“I don’t lend out my automotive.”
“I can’t provide help to with that.”
- Do Not Apologize or Justify – You may have the best to say “no” with out saying you’re sorry or giving explanation why you’ll be able to’t accommodate somebody’s request. They aren’t serious about excuses, they simply need their downside solved. Extra importantly, the extra particulars you give them, the extra “ammunition” they’ll must try to persuade you to say “sure.” Right here’s an instance of an unassertive response in your half: “I’m sorry, however that day I’ve a health care provider’s appointment after which I’ve to choose up my son from soccer apply.” The issue with apologizing and justifying is that they’re prone to come again at you with one thing like this: “Oh that’s okay, you are able to do it one other day…” A extra assertive reply from you’d be: “I’ve an excessive amount of on my plate to take that on.”
- Use the Damaged Report Method – You’ll most likely must repeat your self a number of instances till they notice that you simply actually imply “no.” Fake that you’re placing the needle of a file participant again on the identical track time and again. Don’t allow them to side-track you onto different points. As an alternative, keep on with your “speaking factors” (just like the politicians do) and calmly however firmly repeat what you simply stated with slight variations:
“I’ve a battle that day.”
“I’ve different plans then.”
“I’m tied up at the moment.”
Saying “No” Has Huge Payoffs
My purchasers who use these assertiveness methods are amazed at how effectively they work. Hardly ever do their worst predictions come true. And even when others are mildly displeased, they inform me that the payoff of their elevated self-confidence and shallowness is price it!
Randy Weiss, LCSW
Nationwide Social Anxiousness Heart of Phoenix