I’m okay with saying no. If I don’t want to do something or can’t, I’ll say no without a second thought. It’s my right, I think, to do what I want with my time. It seems as though a lot of people don’t feel this way. I get that, it took me some time to come around to the idea myself. So let me tell you what someone really smart once told me…
How to say no without feeling bad about it.
Get all the information on the request.
Know what you are committing to before you answer. Listen to the way people ask for things… ‘Can I ask you a favour?’ or ‘Can you do something for me?’ If I get either request I ask first what they want so I can decide. I never say yes first.
Do not automatically respond with yes or no.
Take the time to consider what you are currently committed to, what else you have coming up and whether or not you can make it work in the timeframe they would expect you to do it in. If you do this you only say NO when you have considered it. Feel good about that.
Do not make excuses for yourself.
If you’ve said no, that’s perfectly okay. Anyone who can’t take no for an answer is a bully and you should consider treating them as such. I usually give a brief No, sorry I can’t make that work or similar. It doesn’t invite conversation that could have someone talk you into changing your mind. Giving excuses such as too busy etc just makes everyone feel bad. So stop doing it.
Say yes if you can.
I find that I can say no so freely because I always take a look to see if I can say yes first. I love to help people out and I enjoy being the person that people can rely on to help in a jam. More often than not I say yes, so when I say no I am comfortable that the other person knows I would have helped if I could.
If you have to change your answer to no, let them know.
I don’t know how many times I have taken on something only to find that life throws something in my face and I can’t keep my promise. Immediately I contact the person and work out if the timeframe can be altered or if there was someone else who could take over from me. I offer suggestions for replacements or to find a replacement for myself. Turning a yes I can into a no I can’t is harder than saying no in the first place, remember that.
So there you go. My tips for saying no without feeling bad about it. Essential to living a big, full life is the ability to say no to the things that you just can’t make work. Practice this for a while and you’ll see a big difference in your quality of life. So will the people around you. you may not realise it now, but people can absolutely tell if you feel obligated or forced into doing something you don’t want to do. It’s time to man up, retire that selfless martyr thing and say no in the first place.
Do you say NO often? Got any tips for us? How do you feel when you say no?