75+ Ways to Say No (Music Teacher Tip #25)

Musings, Tips

Do you find yourself saying yes even when you really should be saying no? Do you end up so busy that you feel like you are drowning in a “sea” of to do’s? Do you feel guilty for saying no? Do you struggle with how to say no? If you said yes to any of those questions, then today’s music teacher tip is for you! 

First, let me share with you that I TOTALLY understand because I have been there over and over and over again. And if I am going to be honest, it is something I still struggle with at times. Thankfully, I have learned over the years that if I don’t say no to things, then I am hurting myself, not just figuratively but literally. Just this past year there was an opportunity that I would have loved to say yes to, but I I was able to recognize that I already had too many things on my plate already, and “no” had to be my answer. 

Before I continue I do want to say, that saying yes can be a good thing! But today’s tip isn’t on saying yes… So let’s get to it.

One of the BIG reasons we say yes to things is because we feel guilty for saying no. Why do you think saying “no” can translate into feelings of guilt? Well, I think it can start with childhood. When we are asked to do something, we do it, right? That is what we are taught. We also don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or let anyone down. These things are fine on their own. But when you say yes out of guilt, therein lies the problem.

To help with this, understand that it is OKAY to say no. We can’t do it all! And we shouldn’t. It’s not good for our health, physically or mentally to try to do it all. Saying no is in the best interest of both parties. When you say yes, out of guilt or obligation, the person who is on the receiving end is probably not receiving your best. Just remember… When you are saying no to something, it leaves room for you to say yes to something else. By doing this, you are prioritizing what is important in your life right now. 

When you say no, you are saying yes to…

  • Your loved ones
  • Your health
  • Your teaching
  • Your students
  • Anything else that is important in your life at that time

And then there is burnout… a whole topic on its own. When we over schedule ourselves, we burnout. It’s easy to say yes to all the things when you are in the honeymoon phase of “I can do it all!” But slowly, you start to wear down and then before you know it you are feeling exhausted. Then major stress kicks in and perhaps even some panic attacks of how you are going to get it all done. Before you know it you are feeling totally burned out.

“Saying yes when you need to say no causes burnout. You do yourself and the person making the request a disservice by saying yes all of the time.”  Duke Robinson

In today’s music teacher tip video I share over 75 ways to say “no”. While this is a serious subject, I wanted to throw in plenty of humor in the mix as well. I hope you enjoy it!

Do you have trouble saying “no” when it comes to your policy? Let me help, I dive even deeper into the saying “no” problem and help you understand why it is okay to say no. I also share tips on creating a solid policy, understand AND resolving confrontations when they come, and my personal favorite, creating win-wins! In addition, you will even receive some script starters to help get you started in responding to a parent with a policy matter they are questioning or going against. 



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