“The Power of Saying NO: The New Science of How to Say No That Puts You in Charge of Your Life”
by Vanessa Patrick, PhD
You had very little problem saying “NO” when you were a toddler. The word seems so simple, just a few movements of the mouth, but author Vanessa Patrick explains why saying no isn’t easy for most humans. We instinctively want to belong and be liked, and agreeableness is often one way to achieve that. We want to maintain a relationship with the person who asked for the favor.
The easiest—and probably most frustrating—thing to do is to acquiesce, even though Patrick says that very little personal good comes from doing a task you really don’t want to do. So, what do you do?
Though it might feel as though the spotlight is on you, there are ways of managing that. Be prepared by knowing your values and your worth, postpone or deflect your decision, postpone your participation for another time or simply “resist the pressure.”
Learn the art of an “empowered refusal” and erase “submissive filler” words from your vocabulary. Institute a few personal policies that are essential to you. Have boundaries.
Readers learning about themselves may squirm because what’s discovered is sometimes uncomfortable. You must know yourself, Patrick suggests, before you can see how to use “standing-up words” to hold your ground.
For readers who shudder at confrontation, this may seem impossible, but fear not. Patrick offers help through step-by-step exercises, and with analogies that are universal and easily understood.