How To Say No — My 4 Simple Steps To Saying No And How It Saved My Life!
Saying no is tough. It’s hard to say no to a friend, family member, or even an employer if you feel like you are the only one who can do it. But when you finally learn how to say no and start practicing it, life gets easier. Not only will you be more productive and less stressed in your personal life, but you will also have more time to spend on your career. We all know that saying yes too often isn’t good for us, but it’s so hard! Here are four steps that will help with the task of saying no.
The benefits of saying no
When you say no, you’re taking some time and space for yourself. You have more to offer the world when you can give yourself permission to take a break. When you say yes too much, you don’t have time to nourish your mind and body in the ways that make you happy. Saying no will give you more time and energy to do what is best for your health and mental well-being. You might not realize how long it takes to recover from being overworked until you start saying no more often.
How to say no
Saying no is tough. It’s hard to say no to a friend, family member, or even an employer if you feel like you are the only one who can do it. But when you finally learn how to say no and start practicing it, life gets easier. Not only will you be more productive and less stressed in your personal life, but you will also have more time to spend on your career.
We all know that saying yes too often isn’t good for us, but it’s so hard! Here are four steps that will help with the task of saying no.
1) Put yourself in their shoes. If someone has asked for your help and they are giving a compelling argument as to why they need your help, take a moment and really think about what the other person needs. Do they really need your help? If not, then set boundaries with them by telling them that you can’t do what they’re asking of you — give them an alternative solution instead!
2) Prepare yourself mentally beforehand. You will always be stronger when you are prepared than when you are caught off-guard or when someone suddenly puts pressure on you to say yes without thinking about it first. Preparing ahead of time involves figuring out what reasons might be compelling enough for someone else to try and convince me into agreeing with their request instead of just letting me say no.
Practice your “no” in advance
The first step is to practice your “no”. This may seem silly, but it’s important. When you’re faced with someone who wants something from you and it’s not a yes, the best thing to do is not say anything. We all know how often this happens though; people have a need for our time and when we don’t respond, they get pushy. This is where practicing your “no” in advance comes in handy. When you’re in the moment and someone is asking for something from you, take a moment to think about what your response would be if you had practiced that answer ahead of time. Saying no should always be practiced ahead of time because there will always be someone who needs something from us, and until we are able to give them the answer they want, they are going to keep asking.
Remember the people you’re turning down
A great way to say no is to remember the people you are turning down. When you say no to someone, they might feel rejected, ignored, or unimportant. It might be hard for them to understand why you can’t give them what they want. Having empathy may make it easier for you.
Use a script for difficult conversations
It can be hard to say no if you’re not used to it. It’s been ingrained in our brains that we should help others and do what they want. But when you realize how much saying yes actually takes away from your personal time, it becomes easier to say no. That’s why it’s important to prepare for difficult conversations where you know you’ll be expected to say yes.
Take a look at the script below for some tips:
- “I’m sorry, but I have other commitments.”
- “I’m so flattered that you asked me, but I won’t be able to attend.”
- “Thank you for thinking of me, but we will not be able to work together.”
- “I’d love to help, but unfortunately I don’t have the time.”
How to say yes when it matters
One of the most important steps to learn how to say no is to know when it matters. It’s easier to say yes when you’re not sure if you should, but as soon as you start practicing saying no, it gets easier. There will always be opportunities that come your way and sometimes they are just too good not to take. When these opportunities arise, it can be hard to know if we should take them or not. If this is the case, ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I have the capacity and time for this opportunity?
- Is this opportunity in line with my goals?
- Am I feeling pressured into taking this opportunity?
If the answer is “YES” to all three questions, then it’s safe for you to say yes. If any of those answers are “NO,” then think about scheduling time for another opportunity instead. With practice, you will learn when something really needs your attention versus when you can let go and move on.
Saying no is hard. At least, it’s hard for me.
But saying yes to everything, all the time, is even harder. Saying no to things you don’t want to do, people you don’t want to see, or situations you don’t want to be in will make you feel better. You’ll be happier, more confident and in control of your life. And as an added bonus, saying no will free up your time and resources for the things that matter most to you.
So, next time someone asks “Can you come to this event?” or “Can you take on this project?” just say no. It’s easier than you think!