The most difficult word to say is the 2-letter-word “no.” It is the guilty feeling associated with saying no that creates anxiety to most people.
When you say no, you feel like you are being unkind, apathetic and rude.
You know that you are not any of these but still you want to say “no.”
Trust me. There is nothing wrong with you. Saying no is downright liberating especially if you need to:
1. Focus on achieving your goals
“Focusing is about saying no.” – Steve Jobs
Saying yes to every request will pull you into different directions. You’ll end up finding yourself doing things that are not helpful to achieving your own goals.
These goals may be saving up to buy a house, finishing a long-time project, or working on your promotion. Don’t let your own commitments suffer just because you can’t say no.
In this scenario, here’s a good way to say no: “I appreciate you asking me, but my time is totally committed to finishing a project I’ve been working on.”
2. Have more time for yourself
“Saying no can be the ultimate self-care.” – Claudia Black
No. This is not being selfish. You deserve to have more time for yourself.
You can go to the gym instead of doing a friend a favor.
That is completely fine.
Your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health is important.
Here’s a good way to drop a good no: “I wish I could do it, but it’s not going to work right now.”
3. Assert yourself
“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho
Saying yes all the time usually leads to being someone’s doormat.
For some people, if you say yes one time, they expect you’ll say yes to all the other times they’ll ask for your help.
Don’t let one yes to lead to a million yeses. Have your own voice and assert yourself. A simple “Thank you but I would have to decline your request.” response will do. No need to explain why.
If you give into saying yes, be clear that it will only be one time or on situations convenient to you.
“Here is what I can do for you…” is a good way to start your response to someone who you’d like to help without giving an impression that he can expect more favors granted. Make sure you set your boundaries and do things that will be convenient for you.
4. Say no because you can’t do it
“Not every opportunity is meant to be my assignment.” – Lysa Terkeurst
Even if you have the time and resources, sometimes, you just don’t have the skill to do something.
If this is the case, say no. Refer someone else if you know someone more qualified.
No one expects you to be superhero, anyway.
Here’s a good I-know-someone spiel: “I can’t help you but I’ll be glad to recommend someone who may be able to help you.”
5. Avoid conflict
“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” – Josh Billings
If you really think and feel that you should say no, then do it.
Only say “yes” when it makes you feel good. This will avoid both internal and external conflict. The last you need is resentment and bad feelings towards other people.
By being honest in saying no, you’ll build your integrity and trustworthiness.
Here’s a straightforward and honest way to say no: “Thank you so much for thinking about me! I’m sorry I’m not able to help you at this time. I am booked until the end of the year.”
People appreciate a straightforward “no”more than you think they do. This will allow them to implement Plan B and save time and money.
So, give yourself and other people a favor – simply say no.
* Featured image created made in Canva.