Magazine article Psychology Today

Finding Your Voice

Magazine article Psychology Today

Finding Your Voice

Article excerpt

OK, NO COSTS. YOUR PAYOFF IN INTEGRITY AND AUTONOMY, HOWEVER, IS HUGE. THE CHOICE ON THE TABLE IS CLEAR: STRENGTHEN YOUR ABILITY TO SAY NO WHILE LOWERING ITS COST TO YOUR RELATIONSHIPS. SEVE RAL STRATEGIES CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE THAT BALANCE.

Replace your automatic Yes with "I'll think about it."

If you haven't used this technique much, you wilt be awed by the results. ''I'll think about it" putsyou in control, softens the ground for No, suggests you are actually weighing important factors, and, most important, allows you the opportunity to think things through. A Wo that follows thoughtful decision making is a more grounded fence than a Wo that is fueled by emotional impulse.

Soften your language.

Try ''I'm not comfortable with that." "I'd prefer not." "I'd rather..." "Let's agree to disagree here." Or "That's a good/nice/ interesting plan, but I won't be able to..." This last is a variant of the Oreo cookie communication strategy, in whichyou say something positive ("You are such a warm and charming person"), sandwich in the filling of a tactful Wo ("I don't think you and I have a romantic future "I, and then end with another cookie ("I have so enjoyed the time we've spent together; you really make me laugh").

Make no mistake. You are still delivering a clear and powerful Wo, and the other person well understands that. This Wo, sweeter and softer, may go down better.

Contain your feelings.

No is best deployed pleasantly with an air of Zen calm. (Tricky, because you are likely feeling very far from it.) Outward calm helps quiet your inner turmoil. What's more, it will reduce the negative impact of your Wo on the brain of your audience. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.