Remember the song in the musical Oklahoma “I’m Just A Girl Who Can’t Say No”? Aldo Annie is a woman who simply couldn’t turn down male attention against her better judgement. Offstage, saying “No” is an essential skill in the dating/relationship arena and in most areas of our lives.
What’s so hard about saying no, especially for women, is that it can disappoint, hurt, and anger the person you are saying it to. Women want to play nice and we worry that when we say no we won’t be liked.
Having trouble saying no is a socially learned “coping mechanism” that can be unlearned. Practicing saying no is the way to become more comfortable with saying it. Kathryn J Lively Ph.D. suggests: say no, give a reason, and let it go. Say no, give a reason, and let it go. Try it! It gets easier.