Learning how to say no

September 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Say no without being negative. Discover how to relieve the pressure of being everything to everyone.

Time to go to "No School!"
Advice from Michelle DeAngelis

Are you like most people and have a hard time saying "no" to the many requests you get every day? Learn how to have "no" not be negative! Stop saying "yes" when you really mean "no" - that creates a Gap, and the Gap is where life sucks. The Gap is the difference between what you think and what you actually do. Saying "no" is different from being negative. Negative responses usually involve sarcasm or an insulting remark.

A well-delivered "no" is neutral at worst, if not downright polite. Negative sucks. "No" does not.

Steps you can take to say "No":

1. Change your default from yes to no. Anytime someone asks you to do something that you don't want to do or simply cannot fit into your schedule, have your first, immediate answer be no. Right now, your default answer to most requests is probably yes. Change your default. Rehearse. Gird for being begged. Let all pleas fall on deaf ears. Do not budge. No means no. Make sure your body language matches your words. No wiggling.

2. Imagine you have said yes and how that feels. If you feel yourself starting to weaken, instantly play the movie in your mind of the negative impact of saying yes. This allows you to stop putting others' needs ahead of your own. The negative movie will remind you of how annoying it is to ignore your own needs and strengthen your backbone for sticking with the no. Oh, there I am looking miserable at that event when I could be home in the hammock, reading a book with my daughter. I think not.

3. Prepare and practice your "no." You've said no, soften it with a sincere thank-you for being asked or considered, but make damn sure you don't soften your boundary. Your response is not "No, unless you keep asking me," or "No, but I feel really bad about it." It's just "Thank you, it's an honor to be asked. No."

4. Don't say "maybe." Unless you truly want to do it and need time to find a way before you can say yes, say no. "Maybe" just means unfinished business and you'll have to deal with it again later. "Maybe" usually sucks.

Here's an option for the über-pleasers among you, but it must be used cautiously and must not water down the "no" that you already stated. Offer to do an alternative favor, a less time-consuming thing you can do to help (like sending five e-mails rather than joining the committee), or suggest someone else for the task. This shows that you care and can sometimes ease the sting of having just said no. (You did say no, right?)

Take a quiz to find out your Gap and close the Gap, right now. It's free on the Web site www.getalifethatdoesntsuck.com. Use special code "Joyride" and get a more elaborate set of answers than usual.

About "Get a Life That Doesn't Suck"
Life can really suck. But it doesn't have to. This book offers a better way to live every day.

Engaging and encouraging, Get a Life That Doesn't Suck: 10 Surefire Ways to Live Life and Love the Ride explains how ill-equipped most people are to deal with the challenges in life and then introduces foundational tools and effective techniques to take you from crappy to happy. By providing the specific "mechanics" to joy, Michelle shows that joy is a repeatable by-product of living your life in integrity and of making conscious choices every day that kick misery, worry and guilt to the curb.

For anyone who is bored, disenchanted, or in despair, this book serves up a combination of street-smart wisdom and cheerful irreverence and shows you how to enjoy the "ride of your life," regardless of the roadblocks along the way.

With this book you can:

  • Close the gap between your dreams and your real life
  • Learn very specific techniques to make the best of every situation
  • Get the importance of saying what you mean and doing what you say
  • Learn how to thoughtfully respond instead of react to tricky situations
  • Master the 10 Life-Changing Ahas - daily actions that improve your life
  • Get the tools you need to manage yourself and make life easier
  • Um, get a life that doesn't suck!
Buy the book on Amazon: Get a LIfe That Doesn't Suck

About Michelle DeAngelis
For more than 20 years Michelle DeAngelis has been taking on impossible corporate challenges, solving them in record time and redefining corporate and personal coaching in the process. Irreverent, vivacious and razor sharp, Michelle DeAngelis teaches executives, managers and individuals everywhere how to have a company, and a life, that, you guessed it . . . "Doesn't Suck."

Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Michelle was heavily influenced by her entrepreneurial parents. They developed "Happiness Plaza" a shopping center filled with stores that were hand-picked to add a bit of happiness to each customer who shopped there. Although still a little girl, Michelle was clearly paying attention.

In her mid twenties, Michelle was named division chief and tapped to create and manage a new division of 350 people for a Fortune 50 corporation. From there, Michelle started her own management consulting firm, where she does strategic planning, manages national projects for Fortune 500 companies, coaches executives and gives powerful presentations to bring a healthy dose of reality and life-affirming change to corporate America.

In 2004, born of Michelle's commitment to have a career that fused joy and purpose, she created Planet Joyride, a company dedicated to helping people create joy in their lives. Planet Joyride immediately resonated with people who had been through personal and professional experiences that left them wanting.

Michelle's meaningful and practical methods enable people to tap their authentic passion and purpose, magnifying creativity and productivity on both a professional and personal level. Her proprietary Joy Quotient quiz is essential to the process as it measures the gap between people's thoughts and their actions. Perhaps even more important than IQ or EQ, this Joy Quotient, (JQ) gives clients a game plan to generate joy, close the "Gap" and "Get A Life That Doesn't Suck".

Michelle lives in Santa Monica, CA and begins joyriding each morning when she looks out her window at the Pacific Ocean and the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier.


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