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Learning to say no can be very difficult at first because people around you that have been interacting with you have become used to you saying yes. And when you first say no, they get angry. You can expect that reaction. Anybody who is learning to say no has to put up with anger for a while. The first time you say no is the hardest. When you learn to say no, it is very important that you do not make excuses, because the minute you do so, they have got you. The other person can always talk you out of your excuse. Just say a simple no. “No, I can’t do that” “No anymore” “No, I don’t do that anymore”. Any short statement that sends a definite “no” message will do the trick. The other person will obviously get angry, and then you have to know that their anger has nothing to do with you. It has to do with them. Just remember to say to yourself: WHEN I SAY NO TO YOU, I AM SAYING YES TO ME. Repeat this powerful affirmation to yourself, and it will make you feel good. By the time you have said no three times to the other person, he or she will stop asking you, realizing that you have become a different person. You are coming from a different place inside.

It can be very difficult for people-pleasers to say the first no. I remember that I was sweating the first time I stood up for myself. I thought my world would end and that I would lose out. My world did not end; it changed, and I had more self respect. So, realize that this is just a process that you are going to have to go through. Other people get angry because you are not giving, or over giving, and they might even call you selfish. But what they are really saying is that you are not doing what they want you to do. That’s all it means. Remember that when you say no to them, you are saying yes to yourself. You are dissolving your internal resentment at the same time.

– Louise Hay (Empowering women)


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