Saying no is always difficult, especially if it’s a friend or close family member asking for help. We’ve been so conditioned to conform to social norms that we feel guilty if we don’t try to please other people. We worry that no one will understand, that we will let someone down or that they will be upset if we say no. Sometimes we just can’t do it all. By constantly saying yes, we’re placing more stress on ourselves than we realise.
Here are 3 easy steps to saying 'no' nicely and guilt-free.
1. Start a schedule
Start keeping a schedule so that before you get roped in next time, you can refer to it to see if you have the time to commit or not. A schedule will also allow you to prioritise the important things in your life. So the next time someone asks for a favour, check your schedule and see if you have any free slots. This way you’re not overcommitting to something that you’ll later regret.
2. Check if it fits with your goals
Saying that something doesn’t fit in with your current goals is a great guilt-free way to say no. If it’s not on your priority list, recommend someone else that might be able to help. Just remember, each time you say no to something, you’re saying “yes” to something more valuable to you.
3. “Sorry, I’m not available”
Saying you’re not available is different than saying you “don’t have time.” Most people say they “don’t have time” to do something when they just don’t want to. It’s an excuse and other people know it. Saying you’re “not available” could mean you have other things planned. Remember; you don’t have to qualify the answer with what you’re doing.
Saying “no” isn’t always easy. It’s a habit most of us have to develop. There’s no shame in putting what’s important to you first. It’s time to stop running around as everyone’s go-to person, and concentrating on what matters to you!
More from our blog: