Keeping it Real on our YES vs. NO.
Two of the earliest words we'll learn. So simple. Fundamental. Clear.
Why is it that as we get older, knowing our YESes from our NOs gets so complex?
Oh the confused psychology at play!
Happily we've done a spot of unravelling of this mess and going for gold with a more positive and empowered mental attitude to the whole gambit. But first...
The unpopular truth and cause of all the Yes-mess is this: folks think YES makes you popular.
And ok yes this sounds like we're all majorly needy. But NO does feel like a rebuff, right? In the wrong context it can feel harsh. inflexible. not massively KIND.
Until you face the fact that while you took the 'populist' route and said YES, what you wanted to say was NO all along. Gah. The bind.
It'll come as zero surprise to you that in the spirit of Keeping it REAL + keeping it KIND always (mantra) we argue that NO is in fact, a power statement.
No is a complete sentence. And it does not need to be negative OR unkind.
It does require one thing though - and that is TACT.
NO spoken in kindness, allows for everyone to know where they stand - which is positive, empowering, and very healthy.
So how to swing a KIND NO? We're here to tell you how.
Thank us when you're free from the burnout/ toxic friendships/ and resentment later!
3 Top Tips to Y/N like a pro
1. VALUES + PURPOSE HELP DRAW THE LINE
When you find yourself in a Y/N situation it can often be because:
a) your values are being compromised
b) you're being asked to take something on for someone else
Both situations can feel difficult navigating because NO can feel hard to say (and it can feel heard to hear - so prepare yourself for push back too).
As a life rule if you're clear about the values you live by then it'll be easier to know when a request being made of you is not aligned.
This is the first type of no and it's really important to your sense of self worth to stick to it.
Stay true to you. Always be yourself. Feeling forced in to behaving out of character is uncool and no-one should expect that of you.
Working on your self-care and esteem behind the scenes will help this. See our separate article on this.
But in the moment, both a) + b) situations require simple boundary setting.
Something that will earn you respect in your relationships PLUS boost your own self respect. The longest relationship you'll have with anyone is you, so that counts. A lot.
Segue way to...
2. OWN YOUR NO. BOLDLY. POSITIVELY. AND KINDLY.
It's all in the delivery.
Standing by your choices. But everything can be done graciously.
Kindness is such a powerful force. Hold the faith that you can be strong + still be Kind.
Here's a table of how you can be positive about your No and frame your language unapologetically. A useful guide in all areas of your life where a sorry REALly isn't necessary (keeping your sorrys aside for when they really need to count).
For boundary setting it's no different to the above.
Instead of focussing on the negative "I'm sorry I can't do that for you", try (in an upbeat, friendly but firm voice) "I'd love to help. I can do X Y Z for you".
Feel good about your No and the receiver will feel good knowing where they stand with you. And pleased you didn't make promises you didn't later keep.
As Brene Brown writes: Being clear is kind.
(tween language warning on this one) 👍
Lastly our fave..
3. Find your JOMO
Joy Of Missing Out. Antonym: Fear Of Missing Out
Meaning the practice of knowing what brings you Joy
Sticking to those people and things
And becoming more 'ok' with saying no where you can to what doesn't.
Because No in this light is just a YES to the life you want to live. And we say YES to that EVERY TIME.
And there you have it! Gets easier with practice we promise.
Tweens you have the power to define the world you walk into as young adults. Go own that beauties.