Healthy Yes, Healthy No

Updated: Sep 10, 2020


by Sharon Burch, APRN, CNS


Have you ever struggled with boundaries?

Have you said “no” to someone, but that filled you with anxiety? Or maybe you felt guilty afterwards? We can learn to give healthy “no” and “yes” responses. Here’s a way to say “no” differently; a way that is helpful and easy. (Really)


Learning to say “no” is important. In fact, the world needs us to say “no” more often. It needs us to create what we want, protect what we want, and change what no longer works through saying “no” powerfully.


Below you’ll find some solid principles on how to say “no,” taken straight out of William Ury’s book, The Power of a Positive No. Over the last thirty years he has helped millions of people, hundreds of organizations, and numerous countries at war reach satisfying agreements!


Before we get to that place of a healthy “no,” we need to understand the ways in which we might be giving an unhealthy “no”.


An unhealthy “no” shows up in three ways:

  • Instead of saying “no,” we accommodate. In that process we lose power.