Many people find it hard to say “No” when they really want to. Are you one of them? There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to please everyone, so the ability to say ‘No’ without feeling guilty is an essential skill to acquire.
Saying ‘no’ has nothing to do with being rude. You can tell people ‘No’ when you need to in a polite, assertive and tactful way when you need to.
Having been a people pleaser for quite a few years, I had to learn to put myself and my sanity first by applying these tactics when I really couldn’t – or didn’t want to – say yes.
3 Ways To Say “No” Without Being A Jerk:
1. Put it off. Sounds sketchy, I know. But, if someone should ask for something that you would normally like to help with, saying something like, “I’m sorry, I can’t assist you with that right now. I’m very busy at the moment. Perhaps you could find someone else. If you can’t, check back with me later in the week.”
It’s not a definite ‘no’. They have time to ask someone else or figure it out on their own, and if it is in your heart to help that person when you have time, you most certainly can do so.
2. “I am unable to help you right now.” This statement takes the entire focus off of whether you want to help the person and transfers it to your ability to help the person. You can always offer to let them know when you are in a position to help, but chances are, by the time you do that someone else will have already taken care of it.
You are still being polite. You might throw in a statement about how flattered you are that they would even ask you, but then be honest about how circumstances are not favorable for you to be able to take on that responsibility.
3. A definite “No”. Look, you have to say it some time. You need not even make an excuse or an apology; it is your right to choose whether you want to do something for another person or not. But, if you feel you need to, just apologize for disappointing them and let them know that there is no possible way that you will be able to do it.
Chances are you will ruffle some feathers no matter how politely you say ‘No’. But, ultimately, it is your life and your choice on how to spend your available time and resources. You’ll be surprised how many people will totally understand that you can’t do everything that they ask. So, the next time you need to say no, but feel guilty about it, try one of these suggestions and see how it goes.
Till next time!
~ Carrie A Medford
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