Until not too long ago, the "Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot" mantra had a bitter-sweet feeling for me. It was not a weakness for freebies not a desire to own T-shirts. It wasn't that I loved free food samples (which of course, I do, but from a distance)! It was my inability to say "no" when somebody handed me something and smiled at the same time.
Besides the language barrier (I am from Barcelona), which made me babble unconvincing apologies for not wanting the item, I had to add my compulsive and unhealthy need to please and be nice to strangers.
So, to avoid conflict, I used some pretty lousy non-verbal strategies:
But the other day, I was watching Béa Johnson's TED talk and she explained that, in the same situation, her kids just say, "No thanks, I'm good." Yes! It was simple, assertive and polite. Perfect. I go in front of the mirror and practiced it for a while, so that it will come out automatically when I need it. Now it is mine to keep and use... to Refuse!
So, what is your magic "Refuse" sentence?