How to tell someone they hurt you examples
20 Ways to Tell Someone They Hurt You & See the Pain They Caused You
Relationships can be difficult, and they’re not always happy. So, it might be hard to know how to tell someone they hurt you. Here’s how you can do it.
We’re all human. And we’re all susceptible to saying and doing things with the potential to hurt others. Now, there are some people who consciously hurt those for their own personal gain. In that case, they know exactly what they’re doing and how it makes you feel. But if someone does something to you that unknowingly hurts you, well, this is now in your hands. It’s your responsibility to learn how to tell someone they hurt you and explain yourself in a way they can understand and empathize.
[Read: Intentionally hurting someone you love – Why people do it and how to stop it]
The first step – Get clear before you tell someone they hurt you
Before you tell someone they hurt you, it’s important to do some introspection and get clear about a lot of things before you talk to them.
The reason for doing this is that usually when you are upset, there are so many emotions going wild in your mind and heart that you might not be thinking logically about it.
So, you can’t confront someone to tell them they hurt you before you calm down. Well, you can, but it’s not going to go very well.
When your mind is overly emotional, you cannot think clearly. That’s why it’s vital that you go through this process first before you have the conversation to tell someone they hurt you without hurting them back in return.
1. What did they do, not do, or say?
First, you need to define exactly what they did, didn’t do, or said that hurt you. We know that sounds obvious, but sometimes people don’t know for sure.
Instead, for some, it’s just a general feeling of anger directed at someone without really knowing why.
So, if you can’t quite pinpoint why you are hurt by someone, look at their behavior and situations in detail. What was said by them? Is there any action they did or didn’t do that hurt you? Is it something else or a past fight that triggered the outburst?
This is the first step to creating your plan to tell them they hurt you. [Read: When people hurt you – how to deal with the pain and respond to them]
2. Was this out of character for them?
Next, you have to think about the person who hurt you. Are they usually nice and kind to you? Or are they usually prone to doing things that hurt you and other people? This is a really big thing you need to put into perspective.
Why do you need to explore this question? Well, it’s because maybe the person who hurt you is usually a nice person to you. And if that’s the case, then maybe your hurt is worse. Or, maybe it shouldn’t be quite as intense since this person doesn’t usually hurt you. [Read: Is he hiding something? 20 signs he feels guilty for hurting you]
On the other hand, if this is a regular occurrence, then you have a bigger problem on your hands.
3. Did they do it intentionally?
Related to what we just talked about, do you think this person hurt you on purpose? Do you think that what they did or didn’t do was premeditated? If it was, then that is definitely a reason to be hurt – or even angry.
You see, if the person did not intentionally try to hurt you, then it was an accident. If it was an accident, don’t you think you should be more forgiving?
Think about it this way. If someone got into a car accident, do you blame them for their malicious intent? No. You simply call it an “accident” because no one wrecks a car on purpose.
So, before you tell someone they hurt you, get clear on whether you think they intended to hurt you. [Read: Toxic people – 48 warning signs and the best way to deal with them]
4. Is this a pattern?
If they didn’t intend to hurt you and it was just a mistake, then that’s great. It’ll be a lot easier to forgive them.
However, if you have realized that they hurt you on purpose, then you need to reflect on whether this is a common pattern for them.
It’s bad enough that they hurt you on purpose. That’s never okay. But, was it a one-time occurrence? Or does this person’s behavior always hurt you? If there is a pattern of hurting you, then you really need to rethink the entire relationship – because it’s not healthy.
5. Were your expectations realistic?
Let’s say that the person didn’t mean to hurt you, but you were hurt anyway. Were your expectations too high of their behavior? You need to answer that question. [Read: 19 unrealistic expectations in love we want to believe but shouldn’t]
For example, let’s say that you announced your engagement on social media but didn’t tell your best friend personally. And then, they respond with a “congratulations” on social media, but you get angry with them for not calling you to say it – they hurt you.
But think about it from their perspective.
Maybe they were hurt that you didn’t tell them personally. So, you being hurt by them not calling to say congratulations might be having expectations that were too high. You expected something from their behavior that might not have been fair to them. [Read: How not to hurt people’s feelings in the first place – 20 golden rules to follow]
6. How has this negatively affected your life?
No offense to anyone, but just because you’re hurt by someone, does that mean that it ruined your whole life?
Probably not. It probably had some effect on your life, but how bad is it? Is it a minor inconvenience, or is it life-altering?
Either way, you need to get clear in your own head about how their behavior is affecting your life in a negative way.
They may be clueless that they even hurt you. If that’s true, then they definitely don’t know how it is making your life worse. That’s why you need to tell them the consequences of their actions. [Read: How to subtly make someone feel guilty and sense the pain they caused you]
7. What could they do to make it better?
Is there anything the person can do to make it up to you? What kind of reparations can be done so that you aren’t hurt anymore? This is something you have to think about for when you have a conversation with them.
If they’re a nice person, they will ask you this question. What can they do to make it up to you? So, before you tell someone they hurt you, you need to have some suggestions for when you have this conversation. [Read: How to express your feelings – 16 must-know ideas to speak your mind]
But also, you might hear that you have done something to them, too. You might not even be aware of this, so you should reflect on your behavior and see if there’s anything you can do to make things better between the two of you.
8. Write this down
Don’t just sit with your own thoughts and answer these questions in your head. You need to write them down with a pen and paper. Once you see it written out before you, then you can see the “whole picture.”
Also, when you write this down, you can turn it into your plan for guiding the conversation when you tell someone they hurt you.
It’s always good to go into something with a plan. That way, the situation will turn out much better for everyone. [Read: How to tell if someone wants to hurt you because they don’t care about your feelings at all]
How to tell someone they hurt you and explain yourself in a way they’d understand
You can’t expect other people to read your mind. Even if they’re aware of what they’re doing, it’s important for you to sit them down and have them understand you know exactly what they’re doing and why. Is this going to be easy? Of course not.
In fact, it’s probably going to be really uncomfortable for you. It’s something you must do if you want to protect yourself from getting hurt. You need to let that person know how you feel.
1. Look at the offense for what it is
This is where you need to sit down with yourself and think about their actions. Are they intentionally trying to hurt you? Or do you think their actions are unintentional?
Whatever your gut is telling you, follow it. By knowing where their actions are coming from then you’ll be able to properly respond to them. [Read: 16 silly bad habits that can ruin your relationship]
2. Don’t become defensive
It’s normal for us to become defensive but that’s not what you’re going to do. You need to confront the issue by only stating your point of view and not pointing fingers or assuming why they behave like this.
Stick strictly to how their actions make you feel, and allow them the opportunity to explain themselves. That’s the only way you’ll be able to come to some agreement or understanding.
3. You don’t need to be right
It depends on the situation, and you may be harboring feelings from past situations which involved them.
By the time you confront them, there’s probably a lot of anger and resentment built up inside of you. However, you don’t need to be right in your conversation with them.
And in many ways, you may have contributed to the situation as well. This is something you’re going to have to understand. [Read: How to confront someone when you loathe uncomfortable interaction]
4. Apologize if you’ve done something wrong
If you want to truly come to closure and make amends then you’re going to need to accept the part you played in the entire ordeal. You may have done some things to “pay them back” for the way they treated you, but this doesn’t mean what you did was right. Instead, own up to your mistakes and actions as well.
5. Use non-aggressive words
If you’re wondering how to tell someone they hurt you, and explain to them how they made you feel, attacking them with aggressive words isn’t going to solve anything.
You need to approach the situation using words that are calming and honest. You’re not there to cause more drama, you want to resolve it. Focus on talking specifically from your point of view and explain how you feel and why. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow closer]
6. Be prepared for anything
You may be talking calmly and respectfully but you really have no idea how they’re going to react. They may also react calmly or they could be very defensive and accusatory.
So, you’re going to need to be prepared for everything that may be thrown your way. What you need to do is make sure you stay calm.
7. Focus on “I feel” statements
Yes, this sounds a little elementary school but kids are learning this for a reason. When you’re talking about your feelings with someone, you need to make sure that you focus your words around your feelings.
When it comes to knowing how to tell someone they hurt you, instead of pointing the finger at them by saying how they made you feel, use “I feel” statements that aren’t accusatory.
8. Be specific
The other person may not understand why or how they hurt you, but this is when you need to show them specific examples.
In addition, it’ll help keep the conversation on track, which is extremely important when discussing your feelings. It’s very easy for people to veer off the topic. [Read: 10 communication techniques you need to adopt to get someone to understand you]
9. Know why you want to talk to them
Why do you want to talk to them about when you tell someone they hurt you? What are you hoping to get out of the conversation?
If you just want to argue, then it’s not the time to sit down and talk to them. Only talk to them if you want to resolve the situation.
10. Set your boundaries
You sat down and talked about how they make you feel and now, you’re feeling pretty good about the situation. Though now they’re aware of your feelings, that doesn’t necessarily mean things will change.
This is why you need to set your own personal boundaries with this person. Know your limits with them, how much you’ll confide in them, and when/how you wish to communicate with them. [Read: How to set boundaries with friends without hurting or insulting them]
11. You may not be the source of their anger
When people hurt us, we assume they’re doing so because we’re the source of their anger. However, that’s not always the case.
Understand that you may simply be a trigger for their actions, and it is actually nothing to do with you as a person. Don’t take on the guilt from them and only accept responsibility for your own actions. [Read: How to master positive self-talk and banish negativity]
12.They don’t have to take away your personal happiness
Yes, they hurt you, but you’re the one in charge of your own reactions and attitude. You can tell someone how they hurt you, and then, though it takes time, you can move on.
If they act unintentionally, you should ask yourself why you’re holding onto these feelings. If it was intentional and they apologized, why are you still in pain?
[Read: How to stand up for yourself and get what you want and deserve]
It’s not always easy to know how to tell someone they hurt you, but it’s something you must express for the good of the relationship, and for yourself. When you’re ready, use one of these tips to help you out.
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How To Tell Someone They Hurt You? (5 Steps With Examples)
How to tell someone they hurt you without them becoming defensive? Whether they hurt you on purpose or with ignorance, asking them to change can be difficult. Especially if you’re not sure whether they will listen to you or if they are willing to listen.
It’s important that you pay attention to your own emotions and know your limits before bringing up any sort of sensitive topic with someone else, especially if you’re in a romantic relationship or friendship with them.
When you want to tell someone they are hurting you emotionally, there are several ways you can choose to go about it.
Also read: What does it mean when you can’t stop thinking about someone? (7 Psychological terms and tips to stop obsessive thinking)
Each method has different benefits and drawbacks, so knowing how to tell someone they are hurting you will help you decide which one is best for your particular situation.
Below, I have written four different ways and 5 steps on how to tell someone they hurt you so that you can use the right one in the right situation, depending on your relationship with the person and what kind of reaction you hope to get out of them.
Recommended reading for you: 15 situations when someone you love hurts you deeply
What to do when someone hurts you emotionally?
When dealing with someone who hurts you emotionally can be painful, there are often times when one person will be upset with another.
In those cases, knowing how to go about bringing up a serious issue can be challenging. Communicating after an argument is just as difficult.
It’s easy to get caught up in our own emotions and worry about whether or not it’s too late for an apology.
Or, we might feel that it’s best not to discuss what happened at all because we don’t want things to get worse than they already are.
Even though it’s often difficult, telling your loved one that he or she has hurt you is incredibly important. How can your loved one know how to change if he or she doesn’t know what’s wrong in order to fix it?
The first step is getting clear about what was said or done that caused pain. The second step is deciding whether your heart wants forgiveness or justice.
Remember, justice can never bring back lost love, but it may be necessary for setting boundaries and moving forward with peace of mind.
It’s best to forgive as soon as possible. While keeping a grudge against someone is easy, holding on to negative feelings only hurts yourself.
Allow some time to process your emotions before trying to speak directly with him or her again, particularly if you’re angry at his or her actions.
That way you’ll have a better chance of saying what needs to be said without letting emotion overtake rational thought.
Recommended reading for you: What to do when someone hurts you emotionally? (complete guide)
How to tell someone they hurt you?
Sometimes when we feel hurt by another person, we aren’t sure how to deal with it. We may be worried about making things worse or becoming too dependent on them.
But hiding our feelings doesn’t help us in any way. It can actually do more harm than good in some situations, like if that person is a romantic partner or friend with whom we spend a lot of time.
If your partner treats you poorly, for example, hiding your hurt and not addressing it could lead them to continue mistreating you—or even make them think they didn’t do anything wrong in the first place!
So try bringing up how you feel in an indirect but clear way instead of avoiding talking about it altogether; because communication is always better than pretending everything is okay.
Below, let’s discuss the different ways how to deal with someone who hurt you emotionally?
4 ways to tell someone they hurt your feelings.
1.Start with how you’re feeling.
Try saying something like, I feel hurt when…, I get upset when…, or It hurts me when…
Instead of using vague terms like this bothers me or I don’t like it when…, try being more specific by saying why it makes you feel bad.
For example: When I hear that my opinions aren’t valid or respected, I get very hurt and frustrated because I want my views taken seriously.
That’s important to me. If I’m not listening to a group discussion in class or at work, it feels isolating and invalidating.
2.Don’t blame them that they hurt you.
If you’re nervous about how your partner will react, don’t make it about them. Make it about what you feel, not how they affect your feelings.
For example, I want us to be able to talk about things in a way that’s not hurtful or upsetting, but when we fight like we did yesterday, I get really sad and feel like crying.
When I feel that way I just want to leave because it makes me so upset. And when we’re fighting like that, it doesn’t feel like our relationship is healthy or secure at all.
3.Express your needs and genuine commitment in your relationship.
Another way to express your feelings without making it about how you feel about them is by expressing your needs.
For example, I want us to be able to resolve things when we’re having a disagreement instead of ignoring what’s really going on.
And I need us to figure out a way for our arguments not to lead us into negative cycles where we get more and more frustrated with each other.
I have a lot of love and respect for you, but right now, it’s difficult for me to feel secure in our relationship because of all these unresolved issues that keep coming up between us over and over again.
4.Be prepared for the conversation and consequences.
And finally, if you’re worried about how your partner will react, try rehearsing what you want to say beforehand.
It may seem like overkill, but just taking a few minutes to plan out what you want to say can help increase your confidence.
So that when it comes time for talking about it, you’ll feel more prepared and assured.
Another way of preparing is by checking in with yourself beforehand so that no matter what your partner says or does, you’ll be able to stay calm and collected throughout.
By practicing mindfulness meditation every day (more on that here), tuning in to how we feel inside can give us some distance from our feelings—making it easier for us to control our emotions even in heated situations.
Recommended reading: What to say to someone who has hurt you deeply?
5 steps to tell someone they hurt you with examples1. Decide when and where you want to talk with your partner about it.
Telling a friend, family member, or significant other that their behavior is hurting you may be one of the most difficult things you ever do.
And even if your concern is genuine, it may not go over well. Before approaching someone about their emotional abuse, make sure to choose your time wisely —and take care in how you deliver your message.
It’s best to speak with someone who’s alone and whom you know will listen—not around other people or when they’re in an uncomfortable situation (like while driving).
Calmly and clearly let them know why their behavior is causing you pain and ask them to please consider changing.
Make sure it’s actually an abusive situation and not just a personality conflict; emotional abusers can be hard to spot.
If there really is an issue with emotional abuse, approach it carefully—and only after trying other ways of addressing your concerns (such as leaving them alone and coming back when they’re calmer).
People aren’t likely to respond well if their actions are called abusive; start with something like I care about us before saying anything more specific about what’s wrong.2. Be clear, but not accusatory
It’s important that your friend/partner knows what they are doing, but it might be better not to come right out and say You really hurt my feelings.
Approach it more gently by saying I am sensitive about that issue, or It really bothers me when you say things like that. I wish you wouldn’t. Then lay out why it hurts your feelings so much.
If she/he apologizes, good! If not, try asking them if they understand what they said, or restate why it bothers you so much.
For example, I know that when I say something is stupid it comes off as me being mean. Please don’t take it personally when I do that. Can we agree to just not use that word around each other in a negative way?
I know we all have used that word when we have been mad at each other and were saying something was stupid or sucks or whatever.
But I wish we could stop using these words when talking about our relationship because they hurt my feelings. Thanks!
Then ask him/her what they think about your request. Be prepared for a disagreement, and keep in mind that she might not even realize she hurts your feelings by saying certain things.3. Use I Statements
Use I statements when you confront that they hurt you emotionally. It’s important to say what your needs and feelings were, but also how you want them to change or why their behavior was hurtful.
So instead of accusing them of something, put yourself in a positive light and ask for what you need.
An example: I felt disrespected by what you said because it made me feel like my opinion isn’t important to you.
So instead of saying, You always talk down to me. And then asking what he or she can do differently or how he or she can change.
For instance, I want you to treat me with respect. I’d like for us to make decisions together instead of arguing about what we should do all of the time.
This way, it gets them thinking about their behavior rather than making them feel attacked.
Remember, these aren’t just your feelings—this is how their behavior affects you and other people who care about you, too.
Because if no one told them their behavior was hurtful or disrespectful, then it would never change.
It might take some time before they start changing their ways because he or she has probably gotten away with these behaviors for quite some time now.
But if they hear your honest feelings and what it means for your relationship often enough, eventually things will start to change.
Also read: How to tell someone they hurt your feelings? (7 Tips with examples)4. Don’t just assume their intentions
They might think it’s funny, or they might not realize what kind of effect their behavior is having on you. When in doubt, talk to them about how their actions make you feel.
Open up an honest dialogue and stay calm while doing so. This will likely get them thinking about why their words or actions upset you, which can sometimes be all it takes for them to adjust their behavior in your favor.
For example, You may not realize that when you say I never help around here it makes me feel like I’m not doing enough for our family.
Can we talk about other ways we can express gratitude towards each other?
Further, asking questions instead of accusing someone by saying You always do (So and so) allows for a more constructive conversation because rather than asking What did I do? they ask Why do you think I did xyz?
It allows space for you to respond with concrete examples of times when they acted in a certain way. This is especially useful if there have been multiple times when they behaved in a way that makes you feel bad about yourself.
Also read: How to let go of someone who hurt you? (15 Tips to move on)5. Seek to understand before seeking to be understood (acknowledge and validate their experience)
When you communicate with someone that they hurt you, it’s very important that you first understand where they are coming from.
In other words, see if there were any extenuating circumstances, or some other situation going on in their life, which might have affected how they interacted with you.
If so, help them feel heard and validated by acknowledging what was going on for them at that time. This will also allow them to see how they can learn from their behavior and approach issues differently next time.
For example, let’s say someone says, Every time I talk to you, you criticize me. In a typical situation where a person is not using active listening skills, their reaction might be, That’s not true.
I don’t criticize you at all! If anything, I offer constructive criticism. You just can’t take it because your self-esteem is too low! Maybe if you were a better communicator and etc.,
Also read: Can you ever stop loving someone who hurt you? 4 Steps
Whether it’s a family member, friend, or acquaintance, telling someone that their words or actions have upset you can be difficult. Sometimes people can say or do things without even realizing how hurtful those actions are to others.
In these situations, it can be tough to find a tactful way how to tell someone they hurt you and bring up what’s been said or done
Just, take a breath and tune into your feelings. Before you do anything, just take a few moments to slow down and pay attention to how you’re feeling on an emotional level.
Get in touch with what it is that’s making you uncomfortable—the hurt, sadness, frustration—and let yourself really feel it before doing anything else.
Figure out exactly what it is that is bothering you about what they said or did.
Remember, though, that pointing out specific instances isn’t going to fix whatever made you upset in the first place; there needs to be more of a systemic change if it’s going to really improve things between both of you.
Recommended reading: How to stop being emotionally attached to someone?
what to say to someone who has hurt you deeply?
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How to tell someone they hurt you without hurting them in return / My life
Sometimes people hurt you without knowing, but does that mean you just let it slide? Instead, learn how to tell someone they hurt you.
We are all human. And we can all say and do things that can hurt others. Now there are some people who deliberately hurt those who are for their own sake. In this case, they know exactly what they are doing and how it makes you feel. But if someone does something to you that unknowingly hurts you, now it's in your hands. It is your responsibility to learn how to tell someone that they are hurting you.
How to tell someone they hurt you
You can't expect other people to read your mind. Even if they know what they are doing, it is important that you sit down with them and realize that you know exactly what they are doing and why. Will it be easy? Of course not.
In fact, this will probably be very inconvenient for you. This is what you should do if you want to protect yourself from injury. You need to let this person know how you feel.
# 1 Look at the crime, what is it. This is where you need to sit down with yourself and think about your actions. Are they intentionally trying to hurt you? Or do you think that their actions are unintentional? Whatever your intuition says, follow it. Knowing where their actions are coming from will help you respond appropriately to them.
#2 Don't get defensive. It's okay for us to become a protector, but that's not what you're going to do. You should confront the problem by only stating your point of view, not pointing fingers or suggesting Why are they behaving like that.
Stick to how their actions make you feel and give them a chance to explain. This is the only way to reach agreement or understanding.
#3 You don't have to be right. It depends on the situation, and you can hide feelings from past situations that involved them.
By the time you confront them, you probably have a lot of anger and resentment. However, you don't have to be right when talking to them. And in many ways, you may have also contributed to the situation. This is what you need to understand.
# 4 I'm sorry if you did something wrong. If you want to truly come to an end and make things right, you will need to accept the part you played in the whole ordeal. You may have done some things to "pay them" for the way they treated you, but that doesn't mean you did the right thing. Instead, acknowledge your mistakes and actions.
# 5 Use non-aggressive words. If you're wondering how to tell someone they hurt you and explain to them how they feel about you, attacking them with aggressive words won't solve anything. You must approach the situation using words that are soothing and honest. You are not there to cause more drama, you want to resolve it. Focus on the conversation from your point of view and explain how you feel and why.
# 6 Be prepared for anything. You can speak calmly and respectfully, but you really have no idea how they will react. They may also react calmly or be very defensive and accusatory. So, you need to be prepared for anything that might be thrown in your way. What you need to do is make sure you stay calm.
#7 Focus on saying "I feel." Yes, it sounds a bit like elementary school, but let me tell you something, kids learn this for a reason. When you talk about your feelings with someone, you need to make sure you center your words around your feelings. Instead of pointing the finger at them saying like They did you feel, use "I feel" statements that are not accusatory.
# 8 Be specific. The other person may not understand why or how they offended you, but this is when you need to show them concrete examples. It will also help keep the conversation flowing, which is essential when discussing your feelings. It's very easy for people to get off topic.
# 9 Know why you want to talk to them. Why do you want to talk to them about how they make you feel? What are you hoping to get out of the conversation? If you just want to argue, now is not the time to sit down and talk to them. Only talk to them if you want to resolve the situation.
#10 Set your boundaries. You sat down and talked about how they make you feel, and now you feel pretty good about the situation. Although they now know about your feelings, this does not necessarily mean that everything will change.
This is why you need to establish your personal boundaries with this person. Know your limits with them, how much you trust them, and when/how you want to communicate with them.
# 11 You cannot be the source of their anger. When people hurt us, we assume they are doing it because we are the source of their anger. However, this is not always the case.
Realize that you can just be the trigger for their actions and it really has nothing to do with you as a person. Don't take the blame from them and only take responsibility for your actions.
# 12 They don't need to take away your personal happiness. Yes, they hurt you, but you are responsible for your own reactions and attitudes. Whatever they do to you, although it takes time, you can move on. If they act unintentionally, you must ask yourself why you are holding on to these feelings. If it was intentional and they apologized, why are you still suffering??
It's not always easy to know how to tell someone that they hurt you, but that's what you have to express. When you're ready, use one of these tips to help you.
6 ways to say no without guilt | by Lera PetrosyanPhoto source: Pixabay
What is easier: to say "yes" or to refuse a request? Saying “no” is sometimes very difficult, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a close friend or a casual acquaintance.
Fear of destroying relationships, being branded as an egoist or offending a person pushes to agree to any proposals. Even though we know exactly what we want or should be doing, we make time for other people's requests, unwanted invitations, or meaningless tasks.
In order not to wallow in unwanted obligations, not to be a guest of every empty event and not to suffer every time, agreeing to the next request, you need to learn to firmly say “no”.
How? Eric Barker turned to research and identified six points that will unburden your life of unnecessary “yes”.
You are asked for a favor, and it seems to you that if you say "no" you will be disliked. And you give in, even if you didn't want to at first. Surely everyone is familiar with this situation.
If you say “yes”, you will be disappointed in yourself, angry or offended by the applicant. Even if you had the opportunity to refuse him.
Research shows that such situations not only create a cycle of negative feelings, they actually damage relationships. Yes, being "too nice" is also a problem.
“The desire to avoid conflict is not an indicator of a successful relationship. Rather, it is a serious symptom of a dysfunctional relationship. It is better to recognize that the emergence of negative emotions between people is a natural process that you must learn to deal with effectively ... If you cannot express negative emotions, the relationship loses sincerity. — Harriet Breaker, The Desire to Please: Healing People from Compliance Syndrome
How can you say “no” without feeling guilty? Experts have found the answer and offer six ways to do this.
Moments when a person gets angry at your "no" stick in my memory like neon billboards. However, people constantly say “no” and do not suffer any serious consequences after that. The water in the sea didn't turn to blood, and the frogs didn't start falling from the sky. The petitioner just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Good."
You yourself easily forget such refusals, paying attention only to those 0.02% of cases when the other person lost his temper and did not communicate with you anymore.
So try to take a closer look at how other people interact with each other and with you. Notice the times when "no" didn't cause any problems and try to develop a more objective view of the situation.
“Notice how people say no to each other every day. When you start really paying attention, you will notice that this happens all the time. And in most cases it's not something significant. Keep this in mind when it's your turn to say no in a similar situation, or when someone else says no to you. " - Patty Brightman & Connie Hatch How to Say No Without Remorse. And say yes to free time, success and everything that is important to you.
Observe how others deal effectively with similar situations. When you are polite and benevolent, the likelihood that a person will get angry with you is extremely small.
You should set the boundaries in advance so that you have a good idea of what is acceptable to you and what is not. This will make it easier to make a decision and resist the temptation to say " yes".
“To say no without remorse, you need to really think about your priorities. Why are you saying no? Why do you free up time by eliminating unwanted obligations from life? When you identify and recognize your priorities, you can focus on what you really want. For example, you want to spend time with your family or invest in an important project or goal, and so saying “no” is justified in order to follow your goal. ” - “How to say no without remorse”
All this takes time. But what if someone asks you for something right now? What should be your reaction in order not to reflexively say “yes”, which you will later regret?
"You must respond immediately" is not an inviolable rule of thermodynamics. To be honest, I don't know the fundamental rules of thermodynamics, but I'm sure it's not one of them.
When you feel pressured to say yes, don't give in - buy yourself time, ease the pressure. You will have the opportunity to calm down and evaluate whether you really want to agree or not.
“To break the habit of automatically saying yes to another person's request, you need to delay the answer and carefully consider your options. The old adage: think before you say (or agree) is an important piece of psychological advice. Once you learn to take time out before giving your response to an invitation, demand, or request, your sense of control over the situation will increase. ” - "The Desire to Please: Healing People from Compliance Syndrome."
What is the best way to do this? Memorize the following phrases, let them be your default answers to any queries:
- I need to check my schedule. I'll write you later.
- I need to talk to my husband/wife/partner to see if we have plans for the day.
- I need to think. I will let you know later.
- I'll call you back in a couple of minutes.
Don't make questions out of them. These are statements. Use a polite but affirmative tone.
What if there isn't enough time for you to calm down and be able to comfortably say no?
Now we are back to the issue of personal boundaries. When you live by your principles, decisions become easier and people are more likely to respect your answer.
In addition, if this is your permanent rule, there is much less chance that your refusals will be taken with resentment.
“For example, if a friend asks you to lend him money and you don't want to do it, you can say, “I'm sorry, but I have a rule: don't lend. ” This way, your rejection sounds less personal and won't be taken with a lot of resentment." “How to say no without remorse.”
In any case, referring to the rule adds weight and seriousness to your “no”. This implies that you already have experience indicating that the requested action is unacceptable to you. In addition, your refusal may imply that you have some prior commitment that you do not want to break. When you refuse an invitation with the words: "Sorry, but in our family we have a rule - every Friday we have dinner together in the home circle," you make it clear to the person that family rituals are above all for you.
True, every rule has an exception. And a persistent person will seek to find a loophole, assuring you that his request is a unique case.
How do you deal with people who don't take "no" for an answer?
First, say that there is nothing you can do to help. And repeat your original answer over and over again.
They: Can you help me bury this body?
You: Sorry, I can't.
They: What if we do it tomorrow? You are free?
You: Sorry, I can't.
They: And if we let you use a brand new shovel...
You: Sorry, I can't.
This exercise teaches perseverance. You repeat your refusal over and over again, not reacting in any way to new conditions or introductory ones. Eo does not allow another person to bargain for his own.
Don't get angry or raise your voice. Just calmly repeat the same thing until the interlocutor gets tired.
“Be careful not to answer directly or enter into a discussion about the opponent's arguments. If you stick to your simple answer, the petitioner will not be able to force you to change your position. It is important that you do not enter into any negotiations. This is new territory for you. Don't let yourself be dragged into a state of negotiation where there is a chance that your old habit of please will take over and you will end up saying yes, even if you didn't want to. " "The Desire to Please: Healing People from Compliance Syndrome."
The broken record technique is effective with salespeople but cold with loved ones. How do you say “no” without it looking indifferent and selfish?
Adam Grant, professor at the Wharton School of Business, took this method from research: “…it involves referring to promises to other people when you turn someone down. Research by Hannah Riley Bowles and Linda Babcock shows that if we refer to other relationships when we say no, we are well liked because we still appear caring and generous.”
So how do you do it? Your answer should have the following structure: "If I help you, I will let others down." When Adam receives letters asking him to become a mentor, he responds as follows:
“Professionally, my top priority is students. And since I teach over 300 students every year, I don't have the opportunity to be your mentor."
What if you don't want to say a strict "no"? You want to help, but the conditions don't suit you. How to proceed?
You have been contacted by a charitable foundation that is pursuing a cause you support. And they are expecting a $487,000 donation from you. A valid answer is: “No, not at all. But I can give you $10."
“If a friend asks you to volunteer for four hours at an event, you might reply that you can't devote that much time, but you're willing to volunteer for an hour or two. Be careful not to fall into the trap, otherwise you will use this option too often. Save counteroffers for when you really don't want to say no. The reason for not saying “no” should be that you really want to comply with the request, or at least don’t mind, but you need to change the conditions to suit your situation and interests. - “The desire to please: healing people from the compliance syndrome ".
You can always make a counter offer by pointing the person to another resource or person who can help them.
Adam Grant offers a useful example:
- I am not qualified to fulfill your request, but I know someone who can help you.
- This is not my area, but I know who can be useful to you.
Enough theory. Let's recap and recap some good and safe ways to help you master the skill of saying "no" in any situation.
- Pay attention to refusals: “no” rarely leads to revenge or bloody consequences. “No” is not such a risky answer and is more common than you might think.
- Haggle over response time: I'm not sure I can summarize this point right now. I will return to this later.
- Make a "policy": sorry, but it's my rule never to generalize the third point.
- Be a "broken record": I can't generalize this point. I cannot generalize this point. I cannot generalize this point.
- Use footnote to other relationships: if I summarize this point for you, I won't have time to do it for others.
- Counteroffer: I can't generalize this for you, but I can send a link to another post where it's done.
Using all these techniques with your loved ones, loved ones, friends or boss can be quite dangerous because the stakes are so high.