How to say 'No'

Image source: pixabay.com
"Yes, no problem", we often expect that answer from someone that we ask a favor from, particularly when the person is a special friend. And we too often answer the same, when asked to do something, whether we really like it or not. But what if you really need to say 'no' this time, because you just can't do it for some reasons?
Feeling guilty about declining a request is just natural because you said 'no' to someone who needs your assistance. However, you also have other responsibilities to focus on. And if you are having a difficulty saying 'no' when you already must, will only leave you having a hard time prioritizing your needs over the desires of others.
Always saying 'yes' to every favor or tasks could cause us more stress, especially when you know to yourself that you cannot do it or you just don't have the means to do it, no time, no energy, no resources. Thus, you really need to be honest toward the person, and to yourself as well.
The dilemma is how would you say 'no' without feeling the guilt.
Following are some steps to guide you in doing it:
Know Your Reason
You have to know what makes it hard for you to say no to that particular favor. It is maybe because you are afraid that you might disappoint him or her if you reject his or her request. Example: your friend is asking you to take care of her kids after your work, which means you need to rush some tasks at work to be able to put your whole focus in taking care of the children. This tendency might make your schedule more hectic.
When you already aware of your reason in declining a request, then it is time for you to need to control your emotions and try to think of yourself first this time.
Clarify
This time you have to explain to that someone the real reason why you cannot do the favor. Keep it short and to the point. Remember you are saying no this time because you have responsibilities to attend to, and you are just not avoiding him/her. Saying more will only make you look defensive and insincere. For example, "I am sorry I cannot look after your kids later tonight, because I really need to attend a client meeting."
Talk Just Right
Avoid making your voice too polite for he or she might think that as an opportunity to push you to saying 'yes'. On the other hand, speaking loud may mean you are grudging or complaining, and that is to be avoided as well.
Be neutral, firm but calm while saying your reasons, so that the person will believe that what you are saying is the truth.
Know Your Priorities
There is nothing wrong with helping others especially when that friend really needs your company. However you need to set your priorities, especially if getting engaged to other tasks will affect your work, time and family bonding.
First, you should set enough time in doing your work and more time for rest and family bonding. Then when you see that you still have extra time, you may opt to have coffee or watch a movie with your friends, or, accommodate others requests.
Stay Firm
At first, you will still feel guilty or sad about your choice of saying 'no'. However you need to stand by your choice and think that you made the right decision in putting yourself first before others. It is not wrong to say 'no' sometimes, especially if your reasons are valid. Doing so doesn't make you a bad person. You just really need to care for yourself first, before doing favors for someone.
Hopefully, you now know how to say 'no' to someone without feeling guilty about it. Know your priorities, know what you want, stay firm with your decisions, and don't let other people ruin your schedule and list of tasks so easily. And more importantly, take control of your actions and emotions when you say 'no'.
Remember, you need to love and respect yourself first, so that the people around you will do the same.

Last Modified: 2024-Jul-11 00.59 +0800