Dr. Phil, How do I learn to say "No"?
Dr. Phil: You've got to give yourself permission to say "no". I'm gonna tell you why. There's a difference between aggressiveness and assertiveness. Aggressiveness is when you say something to somebody and it hurts their feelings. Like, you could have said to him "No, you're too old and creepy and so I don't want to give you my phone number." Now that would protect your right for privacy and it would have hurt his feelings.

But you don't have to do that. You can say, "No, I don't really want to give you my number because I don't know you and I don't think it would be appropriate." You didn't say anything to hurt him. You just protected you're right. That's assertive. The other is aggressive. There's a difference. You need to give yourself permission to be assertive to protect your rights without hurting somebody's else's feelings, and that means you've got to make a decision that you value yourself enough that you would protect yourself the same way you would protect a friend. Value yourself as much as you value a friend. Be you own best friend. It's real easy after you do it for a little while.


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