When it comes to how others think of us, everyone loves being referenced as responsible, reliable and a team player. But when faced with yet one more request from the boss, your spouse, or a friend you find it difficult to say “No”. Many of us are pleasers with big hearts – we hate the idea of disappointing others or leaving them in a position of need.
If we were really honest, we’d admit that saying “no” is a healthy thing to do. Time is so precious and we often have to say no to others in order to make time for our own priorities.
Follow these simple guidelines the next time you need to say No:
- Practice in front of a mirror. Rehearse your words. Keep them brief. Get comfortable with saying the words that need to come out.
- When telling someone No, don’t feel pressure to provide an excuse or explanation. And whatever you do, don’t lie or make something up. A simple No will work. Say it, and then be quiet. If the other person asks for an explanation, keep it brief. “I have other obligations that prevent me from taking this on.” Don’t feel the need to apologize.
- Remember that saying No will provide an opportunity for someone else to take on the task.
- If you know of another individual that may be perfect for the job, provide their name.
- Be kind with your words. Politeness, respect and grace go a long way in delivering a rejection.