It’s Okay to Say NO
- Keep your response simple. Be firm and direct
- Buy yourself some time if you need to, say let me think about it and I will get back to you
- Consider a compromise and ask for something in return, if I do this for you, I will need this from you
- Separate refusal from rejection – don’t feel the need to give an explanation, you don’t have to justify your reasons
- Don’t feel guilty for saying no to anyone including; family, children, friends, co-workers, religious affiliations, bosses
- Be true to yourself, stand your ground your instinct will tell you what’s right
We live in a ‘yes’ culture, where it’s expected that the person who is going to get ahead is the go-getter who says yes to everything that comes their way. I find it helps to understand your long-term goals. This way, you can say yes to opportunities that most reflect your values. Second, try to build free time into your schedule so there’s room for new, interesting opportunities you might otherwise overlook. when people learn to say no that their careers really take off. When people finally learn to say No, that’s when their careers really soar.
Many people struggle with saying, “No.” If someone asks you for a favor or a commitment, you may feel obligated to say “Yes.” Remember, just because you can do something does not mean it is required. Work on considering the best ways to say “No.” Think about things like your personal boundaries and the situation at hand. When saying “No,” do so in a polite manner that makes your boundaries clear. Work on avoiding guilt after saying “No.” Understand you always have a right to turn down an invitation or refuse a favor. It’s okay to make yourself and your mental health a priority.
Give yourself permission to say no
Many people have a knee-jerk reaction to say “Yes” when they’re asked to do someone a favor. Keep in mind, you are never required to say “Yes.” It’s actually okay to say “No”. Accept this as you prepare to say NO. This will help you say “No” with ease. Practice saying NO.
- If you never say “No,” it can have negative consequences. You may be enabling someone who relies too much on you for favors or money. You can also burn out on your own end and lose focus.
- If you’re overcommitted doing things you don’t want to do, you won’t have much time left for yourself.
- Make time for the things you really enjoy rather than saying “Yes” as a knee-jerk response.
Establish your personal boundaries
It’s always easier to say “No” if you have a reason. However, that reason does not have to be concrete. Many people think if they can do something, they should. Your reason for saying “No” can be a simple matter of your own personal boundaries. Think about what boundaries you have, and embrace the fact you’re allowed to stay true to them. And by the way, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE A REASON FOR SAYING NO.
- Consider what you are reasonably able to do, and what you actually enjoy doing. You can say “No” to things that drain you or distract you. You can set specific boundaries regarding what you will and will not agree to do.
- For example, maybe you value solitude. You can set a boundary that you won’t go out two nights each weekend. You can use this boundary as a reason for saying “No.” For instance, “I would love to go out with you Saturday, but I have plans Friday. I never go out two nights in a row because I get too tired.”
- You can also set boundaries in regards to personal commitments. You can, for example, have a rule that you only volunteer for two charity events per month if this is reasonable for you given your schedule.
Be cautious of persuasion techniques
People often won’t take “No” for an answer. If you say “No” to someone, they may use persuasion techniques to try and change your mind. Be cautious of and recognize persuasion techniques so you can establish a firm offense.
- People may try to guilt you into doing something to reciprocate a favor. Remember, just because someone did you a favor does not mean you owe them. Friends do not keep score.
- People may also ask twice. If you say “No” to one thing, they may try to get you to agree to a smaller commitment or favor. Remember to be firm. Keep saying “No.”
- A person may also try to get you to do something by comparing you to other people. They may say another person agreed to help. You are not another person. You do not have to do something simply because someone else did.
Ask for time before committing
Again, the first response to being asked for a favor may be to say “Yes.” Make a habit of not giving an automatic “Yes”. When asked to do something, instead respond with, “I’ll think about it” or “Can I get back to you on that? I’d like to, but I might have something scheduled.
- Saying “I’ll think about it” will usually get the person off your back. This will give you time to genuinely consider your response.
- After agreeing to think something over, you can decide later whether or not you agree. If you decide against doing something, you can give a firm “No” later.
Practice saying NO
It may sound silly, but you can actually practice saying “No” alone. Try standing before a mirror and looking at yourself. Practice giving a firm, “No” to someone so you get comfortable with the words. Many people are nervous about saying “No” and may say “Yes” due to anxiety. Practicing can help quell some of this anxiety