Do you find it hard to say ‘No’?
You are not alone. I have been there and I know how hard it can be.
I have said ‘Yes’ to things even when my mind wanted to say ‘No’. I said Yes because I was afraid that if I didn’t, people would think of me as selfish and rude. I didn’t like to hurt other’s feelings.
I have regretted all those Yeses. It took me a long time to understand that my biggest fear was being misunderstood by other people.
It was when I analyzed other people who said No, I realized that nothing bad came out of it. When you say No, you are saying No to the request, not to the person. A single No will not harm a relationship, but it will definitely boost your self-respect.
Here are 3 simple ways you can say No with ease and grace:
1. The Full Plate Response
If you are too busy at the moment, you can let them know that you have other commitments and can’t take up their request.
“I’m sorry, I’d love to help you, but my schedule is crazy today/this week/this month and there’s no way I can fit this in.”
2. The Think-About-It Response
If you are not too busy, but the request doesn’t fit in with your values and beliefs on being productive, you can buy yourself a little time by thinking about it, and then responding. The advantage here is by the time you get back, the requester may have contacted someone else and may not need your help.
“Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.”
3. The Firm No
The simplest way to say No is to simply… say No! You can be direct and let the person know that what they’re asking of you just doesn’t work for you, and you’ll be surprised how often people will respect a firm, direct No.
“No, I’m sorry, I can’t.”
As you practice declining requests that don’t align with your schedule, values or needs, you’ll find that saying No becomes easier and easier.
And you will find that you have more time for yourself, the commitments you already have and the things that are most important to you.