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Stress Management for Living, Teaching, & Parenting

What to Do Instead of Saying NO

Image of the word "No" with a red line through it

Saying NO to others is common. Have you ever had to say “no” to a person? Of course you have. We all have.

“No” is one of the shortest words in the English language. However, its constant use can prompt some of the biggest challenges in family and in other relationships.

“No” is a negative word. How did you feel that last time someone said “no” to you? Chances are you felt sad, deflated, or maybe even angry. When you ask for something and hear “no,” it’s common to feel negativity.

The negative response not only may prompt stress for the receiver of the comment, but it can also prompt negative feelings and some stress for the person giving the response. After all, what parent or manager derives pleasure when saying NO to someone?

A gentleman who was about to adopt a child asked me how he could avoid the common response that so many parents engage in by continually saying, ‘No!’ (“No, you cannot do that!” “No, you can’t have that!”)

My response: Don’t say “no.” Say “Not yet.”

These two words promote the same meaning but don’t damage the relationship. This response also retains hope, thereby eliminating any negative feelings.

Tip: When your decision is to say “NO,” respond with “Not yet.”

You can get many more empowering tips like this one in my award-winning book, Live Without Stress: How to Enjoy the Journey. Buy one and get one free as a gift. You will not want to depart with your own copy. Be sure to check out the Without Stress Facebook Group where you can connect with other life-minded people on a journey to reduce stress.

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Dr. Marvin Marshall
Phone: 714.220.1882
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