Stand tall, keep your head up and keep eye contact. Feel strong and equal. Believe in yourself.
Decide what you want beforehand, if possible. This helps you feel in control of the situation.
No, I don’t want to because…
No, I have a problem with that
No, I don’t feel ready
You don’t need to give a reason. Use short clear statements, for example:
I feel uncomfortable about…
I am unhappy with…
It scares me when…
Avoid being manipulated into giving further explanations. Avoid being side-tracked.
Don’t accuse them or blame them for anything, simply state your views and wishes. Acknowledge that you have heard what the other person has said, for example:
Yes, I hear what you are saying and I don’t want to…
Begin by saying something positive to the other person, for example,
I really like you, and I enjoy spending time with you, and I don’t want to
Avoid: I should, I ought, I must
Replace with: I could, I want to, I can if I choose
In extreme situations where you are not being heard and your safety is under threat, you may need to walk away.