Sometimes, in order to say yes to ourselves, we need to say no to others. In order to be authentic, it's important to say yes to yourself. Who else can you rely on to do right by you??

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There are many reasons why people - I'd say women in particular - find it difficult to say no. Here are some tips to help:

-- Tell yourself the truth about what you want to say- pay attention to your immediate 'gut' response to a request.

-.Remember you are rejecting the request and not the actual person. If it feels appropriate, you may want to make that clear - I'm not rejecting you, just saying no to that request.'

- Someone may ask you something at a really inconvenient time, when you have no space to think. Don't think just then - tell them you will let them know the answer later or at a specified time. Choose when you want to respond. This helps you to feel in your own power, rather than to simply react to the situation.

- Give a brief explanation, if you feel it's appropriate, but beware of making lots of excuses or over-apologising. That undermines you - and actually sounds - well, like you are making excuses, and not respecting the other person.

- Do remember that, whilst, of course, it's great to be kind and caring, you are not actually responsible for others' feelings.

- If you offer an alternative or compromise, do it because you want to and not out of guilt. Feeling guilty is very bad for the health.

- Make a definite closure - use body language. If on the phone, end the call or change the subject.

- Saying yes when you want to say no denies your own importance.

If you try out some of these ideas and manage to say no more often, think what you'll be able to do with the extra time you have created--------

Shan Rees

Confidence-Building and Female Fulfilment for Women, Living Excellently

Personal and Professional Development Trainer for over 3 decades, helping people to be successful and flourish; including From Stress to Self-Mangement, Self-Presentation; Assertion Training and Confidence-Building courses. Now, focussing on and working exclusively with women : who may be successful in their field but feel there must be more to life; who want to live in their own rhythm and show up as their feisty female selves; who want to stop compromising and build confidence to make their unique contribution; who want to change their lives in order to live authentically. Now's the time for women to come into their own; the world needs us. I studied Anthropology; Psychothynsesis; Gestalt; Facilitation Skills. I have a Diploma in Guidance and Counselling, qualifications in Coaching and Style Coaching, and have published a book onAssertion Skills. I'm passionate about inspiring women to come into their own