Here’s the thing about saying ‘no’ – whether it’s in work, friendship or any other type of interpersonal relationship. Just because you could do something, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Being able to say ‘no’ – and knowing that that’s OK – is something that will change your life. It doesn’t mean you are selfish, it simply means you are taking care of yourself and setting boundaries.
(eeehm, well, I think so..) yes your default answer too? These 13 pointers will maybe help you in the practice of saying no when you actually feel pressured to say yes. Remember that your time is the most valuable thing you have. So be gentle with yourself, and take some well-deserved rest if you need it and say no every once in a while!
Knowing how to say no is a powerful skill. Can you recall a situation when you should have said no instead of yes?
Be vague but effective
You want to say no, but you don’t want to be blunt? Keep your answer vague, but effective. Your answer may be ‘Thank you for the request, but I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to do it’.
It isn’t personal
Your friend misses you and wants to meet, but you know you’re going to be insanely tired the next day if you will meet up: ‘So nice that you’re asking me, but at the moment I don’t plan dates on weeknights.’
Yes to the person, no to the task
Try helping the other person at a later time. ‘I’d love to do it for you, but I’m full until the end of the month. Give me a call at the beginning of August.’
Introduce someone else
You are super busy, but you know lots of skilled people who would love the job. ‘Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to do it, but my co-worker can definitely help you with this. I’ll introduce you.’
Ask for another date
Having trouble picking a date? Don’t compromise. If you’re having your first free day in two weeks, don’t schedule a meeting because you’ve been failing to schedule it for a month. ‘I still love to meet, can you give me another date suggestion?’
Don’t pin it down
You are the one in control of your agenda, not others. ‘I don’t know how my weekend will look like; can you call me just before you’re going?’
Be polite, but keep your explanation short and simple. ‘It’s so nice that you’re thinking of me, but unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to do it.’
When it’s not your job
When you know it’s not really your task to do. ‘Isn’t it an idea to ask the sales managers to do the team outing this year? That way they can decide what we’re going to do.’
Just say ‘no’
When you just know you’re not able to make it happen. Simply say: ‘thank you, but I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to do it.’ End of story.
Put family and friends first
Always remember what to put first. ‘That’s too bad, but I’m having family time this weekend.’
Don’t answer directly, but buy yourself some time. ‘I’ll think about it and I’ll come back to it shortly.’
Keep silent and wait…
Before responding – especially to emails – ask yourself if you really have to reply. Sometimes it’s enough to keep silent and wait.
Always put yourself first
It’s all about prioritizing! In the end, nobody wants you to be exhausted and on the verge of a meltdown. Be honest and say you have to look after yourself.
This article is a fresh take on an article that was published earlier on Chapter Friday. And it’s more relevant than ever. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did when we rediscovered it!