Authentic Living, Choosing Balance, Daily Balance, Happiness, Mindfulness, Personal Resonsibility, Positive Choices, Self-Care

How to Say “No” Politely to People who Only want to Hear “Yes”.

We’ve all been in a situation where we’re asked to do something that we’re just not comfortable saying “yes” to, for a whole bagful of reasons. Perhaps we’re too busy with too many commitments and adding one more thing will certainly spill over and cause a mess in our lives with scheduling and time management. The big one that guilts us the most to say “yes” is that we’re not too busy and just aren’t interested.

This is the deal. People have the right to offer us an option whether it be professional or social and it’s our right to say “yes” or “no”. The problem arises when people put unfair pressure on us to say yes and we’re truly concerned if we refuse, they’ll be mad at us.

Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” ~Josh Billings

So, how do we say a “no” to people pushing for a “yes”? Here’s a few tips for responses I’ve used:

  1. “I’m sorry, I can’t do this right now”. Be kind and sympathetic in your delivery and if they ask why, let them know it’s not going to fit into your schedule.
  2. “Let me look at my schedule and get back to you” works in the event you are interested but uncertain if you can juggle it all without dropping too many of the other important balls you have in the air.
  3. “I just don’t think it’s possible, or that it can work, but let me take a closer look at my schedule. You may want to consider other possible candidates for this job” may work for people that are being too pushy and not listening to you as you try to let them down easy. Give it a day at the most and tell them there is no possible way for you to say “yes”.
  4. “I can’t do that, but I can help you with this” is a friendly compromise that you can help contribute on a smaller scale, but again, this is only as long as you are able to meet the rest of your life demands without creating chaos. 😊

saying no means you know your limits

Experts suggest we can always pay a compliment for the wonderful offer, deliver our “no”, say “thank you”, if applicable, and encourage the person that they can do it without you, then change the subject or excuse yourself. Don’t feel bad declining the offer. It’s an “offer” which is defined as something presented to be accepted or rejected as so desired.

In the end, saying “no” may temporarily make us unpopular but ultimately protects us. Anyone who respects us and cares for us will accept our “no”, even if they feel put out at the moment, and move on. Anyone who doesn’t? Well, I guess they’ve now defined the nature of our relationship.

Keep it Simple,
Just Teri


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