Sometimes saying no to people can be difficult or perhaps you’re a sucker for saying yes all the time. Why is it so hard to say the word ‘no’? Saying No doesn’t make you a bad person and it doesn’t mean you are rude, unkind or selfish. Saying no is important, and it’s okay. So it’s time you learn how to do so! Here are 10 tips on how to say no without feeling guilty:
#1 Start Using The Word
NO is a powerful word. So start using it to your advantage! Give yourself full permission to give a big, glorious NO to: unreasonable favors, work you’re not being paid for, activities you don’t want to do or situations that make you uncomfortable, people who drain you, and anything that negatively affects your health and mental well-being. Using the word “no” more often, will help you become more comfortable with saying the actual word. And sometimes, repeating the word, is the only way to get the message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message!
#2 Don’t Apologize
It’s only natural that you wanna remain polite when saying no, and you often start out by saying “I’m sorry but …” Now, don’t get me wrong – being polite is important. But, apologizing just makes your refusal sound weak. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about saying no.
If you are interested in the request, but you have some reservations, say something like: – Sounds interesting, let me think it over first – Or, Can I get back to you on that? This is great when dealing with high-pressure salesmen, or if you are too bogged down to think properly at the moment. This gives you time and space to think it over, rather than feeling pressured to decide on the spot.
#4 Offer An Alternative
You can also respond in a way that works for you and you`re comfortable with. This way you aren`t really saying NO but you aren’t really saying YES either. For example, you can help find a solution. Let’s say someone asks you to help them move. You know that you’re a lazy mofo and you would probably just whine all day. Instead of saying no, you can offer to gather a few common friends who would be more eager to help. This way, at least you show that you put in some effort.
Sometimes you can turn a NO into a YES – if the other person is willing to do something in return. This way, you won’t need to feel bad for saying no, and you will get something in return for saying YES. For example, let’s say your boss asks you to work on a new project, but you know that’s just not possible because you have a deadline on your current project. So, what can you do in this tricky situation? Instead of complaining and saying that it’s not possible, try to negotiate. Ask if this new project is of higher priority than the current one. Perhaps you could slip the deadline on your current project by a few days.
#6 Teach People to Expect that you Might Say NO
One of the biggest problems with always saying yes, is that you soon find that people begin to undervalue your time. If you`re always saying yes, people will assume that you’re always available, and if you happen to say NO, they get upset! So start saying things like: – I appreciate your asking, but I really can’t – Or… I wish I could, but I’m swamped this week Once people understand that the possibility of you saying YES or No is a 50/50, it will become much easier for you to actually say NO and they will become more accepting of your answer.
#7 Keep It Brief
Long answers give the asker more loopholes to come back at you. After you’ve said no, it is crucial that you don’t start waffling! While you may think that you’re protecting people’s feelings by concocting an excuse, there’s really no need to be too specific. This is especially important if you said a little white lie, as lying about your reasons for saying “no” could lead you to feeling guilty! Remember, you don’t owe other people a reason, and they don’t have the authority over your life to tell you what should or should not matter to you.
#8 Make a Not-To-Do List
You’ve made the decision to start saying NO and this is a great start, but now you will need a plan, otherwise you will likely end up falling back into your old ways. Take 10-15 minutes and make a short list of all the things you want to avoid and say NO to. Things that create a drag on your productivity, or just things that you really hate saying yes to. The list could be something like: – I don’t respond to text messages between 9-5 – I don’t schedule anything for Friday nights – I don’t schedule meetings before 11 am – Or I don’t go out for drinks more than 2 nights per week.
#9 Make a To-Do List
When you start your day without a plan, you leave yourself open to letting other peoples’ demands dictate what you do with your day. If you map out your day, you’ll be more productive, relaxed and it will be a lot easier for you to say no to random things that come up throughout the day.
#10 Think of Saying NO as an Act of Self-Love
We don’t really think of it this way, but saying no is a radical act of self-love. And self-love really means doing things that nourish you, and make you feel good and energized. If you can’t remember the last time you did any of these things, consider revisiting your stacked schedule. It might be just time to dust off the word “NO” and start using it! It’s important to have a healthy balance of saying YES and NO. This way, people will have more respect for you and put more value on your time.
However, there will be times when you should say YES, whether you are lazy, simply don’t want to, or have other obligations. You know… Emergencies. Try not to be an asshole. If your friend is going through a crisis and could use your help, don’t say NO because you would rather paint your nails or wink your willy. What do you think? Do you know any other good ways to say NO? What are some ways you’ve said NO? Let us know in the comments below.