Updated: Dec 12, 2019
I was asked how to say no to people who want your work or that want to benefit from your effort without doing the work. I love this question because it came from my son Aiden shortly after a fellow student asked for his work. So, I offered say no! And If that doesn't work for you son or doesn’t resonate with you tell him giving up your work doesn't honor either of you! Then Aiden’s next text asked what he could do if the guy looked at him strange because he didn’t understand. I replied give them space to be in their experience: looking strange, perplexed, or annoyed. They’re responsible for their feelings and you’re responsible for your actions. If they ask you why you won’t give up the work use this as an opportunity to honor your boundaries by lovingly and hopefully gently explaining that you put in a lot of time, energy, and effort to understanding the work. Giving it away just doesn’t work or feel right. I offered Aiden another option-say no and I'm happy to teach you how to do it. Well the guy and a young lady called Aiden, “One of those people” and then left him alone. Minutes later the young lady returned to take Aiden up on his offer to teach her. The power of saying no is knowing what you’re saying YES to. Yes, to your worth! Yes, to your value! Yes, to what matters! While this example is specific to school it also applies to work when people dump on you the duties/tasks/assignments that were given to them. Saying no in clear way honors all involved because it holds both of you at your highest. It establishes a boundary that makes clear what is required to be in relationship with you. And it lets others know there’s another way-another possibility. And then it also enhances your self-esteem because it lovingly affirms your inner conversation about your value and worth. Say No. Not going to happen. Nope. Naw. And if you're not worried about being polite, “Oh hell naw!” Be gentle with yourself as you journey!