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Discover How You Can Say “No” Without Feeling Guilty About It
I’ve often heard a lot of my students who have achieved financial success tell me they feel under constant pressure to help needy relatives and their requests for monetary support. They keep coming one on top of the other. How can people say no without feeling guilty about it?
No and feeling guilty are two separate things. They don’t have to go together.
Why feel it’s even necessary for you to be the one handing out all this money, especially when you can’t or you don’t want to do it?
Feeling compassion for people is always a good thing, but people asking you for help tests that compassion because how you respond teaches people how to treat you. Nobody knows how to treat you until you teach them how to do it.
So if you’re one of those folks that taught people in your life that they should come to you for money, well, now you have to un-teach them. You have to retrain them.
You said yes because you want to be a nice guy or nice gal. You want approval, and you want everybody to like you. Great. If you want to do it, then do it.
But let’s be able to say no, also. And let’s not feel guilty about it. How do you do that? You have to practice.
First of all, you’ve heard the saying, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” Do you think you’re doing these people any favors by giving them money all the time? No.
Give handouts and train people to be dependent, and they can’t stand up on their own two feet. What if one day they actually have to?
How do you say no without feeling guilty? You need to learn how to say no with two things. One is compassion, and the other is kindness. Kindness is compassion in action.
If someone comes and asks you for something: your time, your money or whatever, you don’t say, “No, you jerk, go away.” That’s not a good thing to say because the energy is wrong and the words are wrong. You say it nicely. You have to practice.
You might start with one time saying, “Dear friend, I love you with all my heart. I know I’ve been able to help you before,” or “I know that you would like some help. I would love to be able to help you. However, right now that will not be possible. I apologize, but it’s not going to work. I wish you the best.”
Compassion comes from the heart and expresses itself with language that is unambiguous, firm kindness for both yourself and the person who might be crossing your boundaries.
Don’t give them any excuses like, “I have to buy a car.” Just say, “It’s not possible.” If they start pressuring you as to what you need you say, “That’s something that I’ll decide. It’s up to me to be able to share all that with you, but I’m not able to do this right now.” Don’t be pressed.
You practice with the easiest person, the person you know could possibly handle things themselves. Then you practice with more.
Here’s the big thing: If you think that feeling guilty and saying no have to go together, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to go out and ask other people for money for yourself.
Go ahead. Just go on the street and ask people for money, or go to other relatives and ask them for money. Here’s what you’re going to hear. “What? No. Sorry.”
Then you say, “Wait. If they can do it, I can do it, too!”
That’s how you get used to it. You hear other people say no. Watch what happens.
Maybe one will say yes. Most will say no. Then you get good at saying no. It’s not that hard. It’s just a habit. Separate no from feeling guilty.
Tell us what you think. Have you had the experience of money coming between you, friends, family, or business partners? What lessons did you learn from the experience? What advice would you give? Share your stories. We want to hear from you!
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