Learning to say no can help enhance your life in lots of ways. It gives you instant control of your own decisions, needs and wants. It enables you to schedule your time according to your own requirements. It gives you a confidence boost and leaves you feeling empowered about your ability to stand up for yourself. Yet saying no is such a difficult thing to do! Here are some great ways you can say no – guilt-free – whenever you want.
Be Apologetic But Firm
If you feel uncomfortable about declining to do a task or favour for someone else that you fundamentally can’t or don’t want to do, simply apologise by saying, “I’m sorry but I’m already working to a tight schedule and I’m not the best person to help right now.” If the person is persistent – and therefore rude – reply by saying, “I’ve explained I can’t fit it in right at this moment and I’m sorry about that.” Don’t be afraid to change the subject so the situation doesn’t escalate.
If you don’t feel you can say no immediately, ask if you can get back to the person once you’ve had chance to check your schedule. This method enables you to assess whether you do have time available or is something you really want to do.
Offer A Compromise
If you genuinely don’t have the time, skill or desire to help with a certain task, offer your support in other ways that don’t impact on your time or goals in quite the same way. This is a much softer reply that demonstrates you care but cannot take on more at this time.
The main reason people take on too many commitments is because they feel a sense of guilt if they refuse. By remembering that other people’s issues are not your responsibility you can avoid worrying about hurt feelings or offence caused. Try not to have a warped sense of having to be busy and be kept on the go. It is fine to say no to the things you don’t want to do, even if you had a spare moment available! The truth is that we all have choice and we can easily decide for ourselves whether we share our time or not.
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