The power to say what you want to say, when you want to say it – these three simple phrases can help make your whole life more the way you want it to be!
The biggest takeaways from this episode:
Hey there – I’m so glad you stopped by!
Today we’ll be talking about something that’s not always easy for me — saying what I really want to say in the moment. Have you ever walked away from an interaction, realizing you gave away all of your power? You’re kicking yourself and wishing you had said something different! Well, I felt like that was happening to me too often – and I have some solutions to share!
There are many reasons people have a hard time speaking up for themselves (and, most of them come from a great place – like trying to not hurt anyone’s feelings!) but, over time, I’ve learned that being prepared makes it easier for me to say what I want to say in the moment – and still not hurt anyone’s feelings!
Listen in today as I share my 3 go-to phrases when I need to say something difficult – I think you’ll find them really helpful!
As always, my goal is to make it quicker and easier for you to access more ease, joy, and intention in your life…because happy looks really, really good!
This week, we’re giving you the tools you need to own your day and your life!
Finding the right words when you need them isn’t always easy, but being prepared with these 5 Simple Phrases will empower you to say what you want to say when you want to say it!
Welcome to the Style With Intention podcast, where we talk about how to use your personal style choices as a tool to create a life you love.
We believe choice is empowering, complacency is boring, and happy looks really, really good!
I’m your host, Annie Kip, and today we’re going to talk about something that will be a big help to anyone who’s ever had trouble speaking up for themselves.
I know that saying what I really want to say isn’t always easy for me. I’ve often left an interaction and later thought of just the right words that I wish I had said. There are a lot of reasons that people have a hard time speaking up for themselves – which all come from a good place, but can get in the way of saying what we want to say.
Maybe some of these reasons will sound familiar to you…for instance, you’re a nice person and you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or make them feel bad at all. Or maybe you’re very polite and you would never want to be thought of as rude. Maybe you see yourself as very easy-going and flexible and you don’t want people to think you’re demanding or difficult to get along with.
Or maybe, you sort of tend toward people-pleasing like I do and you’re just conditioned to put other people’s needs and wants ahead of your own.
Speaking up for what you want can feel vulnerable or risky for a lot of reasons – but having the right words can be a big help.
Knowing how to say what you want to say when you need to say it – is not only empowering, but it gives you the ability to manage your time. You can take control of how your day goes. Really, having the right words when you need them gives you the power to make your whole life more the way you want it to be.
So, today, I’m going to share 3 simple phrases which will help you take some power back in your life. These phrases will help you set limits politely and firmly, they’ll help you ask for what you want, and they’ll give you a way to be helpful without becoming a doormat for other people.
The first phrase I want to share with you is:
What I particularly like about this phrase is that it allows you to decline or say “no” in a way that is polite, firm and not up for discussion.
“Unfortunately, I’m unable to…” is so effective and powerful.
Other ways of trying to set a boundary often leave you open to the other person to try to find ways to “help” you do what they want you to do – but no one else can say what you are able or unable to do. Only you can say this – so they can’t poke holes in your statement.
Use it anytime you need to decline an offer, as in:
“Unfortunately, I’m unable to commit time to that committee.”
“Unfortunately, I’m unable to take on that project.”
“Unfortunately, I’m unable to be there.”
Or set a limit:
“Unfortunately, I’m unable to make dinner and do the laundry”
“Unfortunately, I’m unable to support your decision.”
“Unfortunately, I’m unable to wait any longer.”
The lovely thing about this phrases is that you don’t have to make excuses or lie – simply being “unable to” is enough. You don’t have to say anything else.
The second phrase I want to share with you is:
This is a terrific phrase to use anytime you’re asking for something you want or need.
“Would you consider…?” allows you to be specific in your request without coming across as controlling – because it shows the person that you respect their choice. This is sort of like a pre-request that sets you up for success.
It is simply an invitation to give your request consideration – you are not asking for a decision, so it keeps you out of the automatic “no” zone – and keeps the door open for discussion.
From easy ask’s like,
“Would you consider helping me…clean the garage?”
“Would you consider…going on a vacation this summer to Italy?”
To more delicate requests like:
“Would you consider allowing me to work from home?”
“Would you consider…going to therapy with me?”
“Would you consider taking over this responsibility?”
Big ask’s and even the smallest requests are easier to hear when they’re presented as an option to be considered. Especially, if you have a hard time asking for what you want, I encourage you to try this. I think this is a very respectful way of asking for what you want and it’s really empowering because it doesn’t come across as needy or demanding.
The third phrase I want to share with you is:
The beautiful thing about this phrase is that it relieves you of the impossible job of being a mind-reader.
If you can incorporate “What would be helpful to you right now?” into your vocabulary, you don’t have to try to figure out what would make someone else happy or what they need at any given moment. This phrase puts the responsibility for knowing what is needed, right where it should be – in the hands of the person who needs the help.
You can use it when a friend seems upset or a co-worker seems stressed out. You can use it to offer help to your child, in a way that empowers them to ask for what they really want and need. They might not want your help with their homework – but they might want warm cookies to help them get through their studying.
How can you know, if you don’t ask?
This phrase is also really useful in an argument. If you’re genuinely sincere, it is very disarming and productive to let down your guard a little and ask the other person, “what would be helpful to you right now?”
You might get an answer that you didn’t expect! Of course, you get to decide whether you are willing and/or able to do what they ask.
These are powerful phrases and very effective if they are used in earnest. It would be shame, if you were to speak them and then allow your subconscious feelings to show in your body expression or your tone. Communicating your negative emotions takes away from the clarity and power of these words. Be sure to check yourself to make sure you’re not sending mixed messages.
This is where your personal style comes in! – being petty or sarcastic might feel good in the moment, but really, it only undermines your power. Developing a demeanor that is genuine and sincere let’s people know they can trust you.
“Unfortunately, I’m unable to…”
“Would you consider…?”
“What would be helpful to you right now?”
Are so effective because they get at the core of our human need to be seen and heard. These phrases communicate clearly and respectfully. They help generate useful information that both parties can use to decide what they are willing and/or able to do. Using them shows the other person that you do see and care about what they want and need.
We’re giving you a guide that dives a bit deeper into these simple phrases, including more examples of how to use them. We’re also including two additional phrases that I know will be just as helpful, but we just didn’t have time to cover them in this episode.
Knowing the words that will allow you to say what you want to say when you want to say it is so valuable – go ahead and click on the download button to get all 5 Simple Phrases. Feel free to drop me a note on the website or on Instagram or Facebook to let me know how they are working for you!
Header image by: Pavan Trikutam