Holding on to no

Holding on to no

Lately, I’ve noticed that when i start to lose verbal bandwidth, one of the first things to go is my ability to say no. This is in part because saying no in a socially acceptable way is complicated, and tends to require a lot of verbal nuance.

I’m trying to fix this though, because no is important.

Here are some ways that sort of work for me:

  • Using email and avoiding in-person interaction for situations that are likely to push me into that frame of mind so I can respond slowly enough to remember that saying no is possible
  • Telling my trusted friends about situations I have trouble saying no in, and asking them to try to ask if I’m ok in those situations
  • Typing rather than speaking when my words bandwidth drops too low. Because typing uses less bandwidth than speaking, for some reason, which leaves me with more to work with to figure out whether I’m ok. I can’t do that as often as I’d like to, but I can do it with some friends.
  • Having objects around that say no on them. I don’t use them for direct communication, but they can remind me that saying no is a thing
  • Noticing when the shape of my stimming is suggesting to me that something is wrong, and taking that as a signal that I need to figure out what is going on

Do any of you know other ways to hold on to your ability to say no?