Over the past year or so, I’ve really tried to work on my own confidence and one of the things that’s involved is me learning how to say no more. I think I’m pretty good at it now so I thought I’d share a few little tips with you today in case you want to make that change too.
As human beings we often try to “aim to please”, it’s simply how most of us are wired. While it’s great to make others happy and to do random acts of kindness, there comes a time when you learn to develop a good strategy so you know how to say no when you’ve taken on too much.
Let go of Detailed Excuses
I found that when I was saying no to someone, I automatically wanted to give them an excuse for why I was saying no so the first thing I changed was that. There’s no reason why you need to give a detailed excuse or to justify yourself so learn to say no with a very brief “because” instead of something that the person can use to talk you round. Just say no because you can’t or because you’re not available to do so, etc. without getting long winded about it.
Be Confident in Your No
I guarantee you that nine times out of ten the other person will be able to tell if your “no” is a confident one or if you’re unsure of your decision so the next thing you need to learn to say the word no without any doubt expressed within your tone.
Do not Feel Guilty
Be confident that you’re saying no to something because you’ve made a decision to put yourself first. There’s nothing wrong with being confident in saying no to someone so that you don’t get overwhelmed by taking on too much.
Do not Apologise
Remember that it’s okay to say no and there’s nothing to apologise for. When most of us say no, we have this compelling need to add an apology to our answer. There’s no reason to apologise for not being able to or not wanting to do something for or with someone else. It’s perfectly acceptable to say no without an apology.
Sandwich Your No
Lastly, if all else fails and you still feel like you’re being rude then you can try this method where you sandwich the no reply in between a couple of positive statements. This is my saving grace as I’m a worrier and never want to upset someone by saying no. Let’s say someone wants you to go to the cinema with them to see a film you really don’t fancy (bad example but my mind is blank today haha). In the past, I might have gone – wasting both money and time but now I would say something along these lines:
I’d love to go but I’ve already promised Mr Frugal that I’d go and see it with him. I hope you have a great time though!
Like I say, that’s not the best example but it shows the positive statements before and after your no.
There you have it, a few examples of how to say no without sounding rude. I hope you’ll find them useful and that you’ll feel more confident in saying no next time the situation arises!
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