One reason that so many people don’t get to enjoy the Christmas that they want to is because they find themselves saying “yes” when they want to say “no”. But why do people do that?
The reason is because saying “yes” is always easier, as the pain of doing what we don’t want to do is still in the future. It doesn’t matter whether the event is in ten minutes’ or ten days’ time, it’s easier to postpone the pain than to go through it there and then. The first stage of learning to say “No” is to recognise that it may well feel awkward or uncomfortable, but that just means that it’s unfamiliar, not that it’s wrong.
There are also some particular ways to say no, depending upon the situation. Perhaps you have a relative or friend who always seems to ring at the worst time, and you’re normally too polite to say anything. In this case you need to tell them why it’s a bad time (perhaps because you’re in the middle of something, or about to go out), and tell them a time that suits you when you’ll ring them back – either the same day or the next.
Whether it’s on the phone or face to face the keys to being assertive are to take a step back from the situation; to keep your emotions in check; and to speak, and to sit or stand confidently.