Are You Tired Of Being A Yes Person? 20 Ways To Say No

Ramona Creel has a list of 20 ways to say no, with some commentary on each one.

I’ve noticed that some of my ADHD coaching clients (and Non ADDers as well) have trouble saying no to other people or themselves in regards to taking on extra tasks when they already have too much to do. When you combine this with ADD traits such as:

1. A reduced awareness of time in general, i.e., tending to underestimate the time involved to complete a task, and overestimating the amount of free time in their lives,

2. Procrastination

3. Disorganization

4 Being easily distracted

5. Being impulsive

it’s often a sure recipe for frustration, anxiety, aggravation, and stress.

In these cases, if I just help my coaching clients work on their problems relating to things like procrastination, distraction, and disorganization without helping them to discover ways to say no more often, they will end up being more efficient but still overloaded and overwhelmed. They’ll just be adding more tasks on their already overloaded plates. They’ll get more done, but still have the same amount of stress if not more.

So it’s really important to learn to say no not only to others but to ourselves since often ADDers have bigger eyes than their stomachs when it comes to taking on extra tasks. Being so naturally creative, we can easily come up with 5 times more things to do than other people. So learning different ways of saying no is a VERY important skill for ADDers.

Think of it as a primary stress reduction technique.

Boundaries are next to Godliness for ADHD adults, whether your God is God, the flying spaghetti monster, or anything in between. Assertiveness reduces stress, and increases productivity and happiness when properly applied.

I sometimes ask my adult ADHD coaching clients to pick one way of saying no that they feel comfortable with and practice being assertive by saying it in front of a mirror several times, often enough they are not just saying the words, that they are owning their words. Saying them confidently, vs weak and tentatively.

And doing that enough so the body is resonant with it, so your voice doesn’t communicate one thing, while your body language contradicts it with a different message.

This will take time and effort and a willingness to work through the discomfort until it the words become comfortable. But it is worth the time. The alternative is passive-aggressiveness and suppress, suppress, suppress until you can suppress no longer, and out comes the disproportionate explosion. Better in the long run to learn assertiveness:)

Here are a few examples from the list I like:

I am in the middle of several projects

I do not have any more room in my calendar

I know you will do a wonderful job yourself

I would rather decline than do a mediocre job

I am in the middle of several projects

I need to leave some free time for myself

I do not enjoy that kind of work

I do not have any more room in my calendar

I am not comfortable with that


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