I specialize in assertiveness training and enjoy seeing clients stop being taken advantage of in their life. One of the most common struggles they face is being unable to say “no” without feeling selfish or guilty. They tell me “I’m always taken advantage”, or “my friends know to call me for everything,” or “I can’t say no to my family and now I resent them.”
One technique you can practice is called the Broken Record Technique. Try it!
How it works is that you find a sentence saying that you can’t do something and you keep repeating it when asked why.
Here is an example:
A friend asks Sara to lend them $100. Now Sara has the money but needs it to pay her bills in a few days. Sara says: “I’m sorry but I can’t give you $100 right now.”
- Her friend might then say: “but why not, I really need it?”
- Sara replies: “I wish I could but I can’t give you the money right now”
- Her friend: “I will pay you back as soon as I can.”
- Sara replies: “Unfortunately, I don’t have $100 to give you right now.”
As you see, Sara repeated her reason over and over while keeping the conversation from getting too personal. This method can be effective and is simple to practice.
Now if the person you are talking to becomes angry or disrespectful then it might be best to leave and think about the future of that relationship.
If you would like more specialized training around assertiveness skills, please do not hesitate to contact me.