One of the most important personal protection skills we can develop is to set boundaries and clearly communicate them. Simply saying NO! in a firm voice is the most concise method of doing it.
Although the comment has been made that I give my clients permission to be rude, that has evolved in my mind to simply giving permission to say NO! As a society, we have placed so much emphasis on consensus and negotiation that our ability to firmly set boundaries and communicate them has become sadly neglected.
When someone refuses to respect a boundary that you have set very clearly, their intent becomes immediately clear. That clarity allows us to make definitive decisions about our own course of action.
Practice saying NO! every day in your normal daily activities. You don’t have to be mean or discourteous about it, simply say it firmly and with conviction. Often, when you say it, the other party will physically react and rock back on their heels. You have utterly reset their OODA Loop at that point.
One word is best.
As much as I like the:
You look familiar. You got any warrants?
method, last night I defaulted to ‘No’ when I was approached last night by a female panhandler in the Publix parking lot. Because I keep my head up, I saw the encounter coming.
“Something, something, car, homeless.”
“Okay.” She then walked away.
I didn’t say it in an ugly way, just very firmly. The power of a firm ‘No’ is very strong.
I also had my pepper spray in hand in case things went any further.