I’m a very direct person when it comes to how I communicate and saying ‘no’ has never been that difficult for me. However, that is not the case for most people and I have had to coach several people on learning to say no to prevent themselves from being overwhelmed or burdened by requests from others they regretted taking on. There are a few ways to make saying no easier and the first thing to remember is that the whole reason it might seem uncomfortable to say no is entirely in your own mind.  The reason people ASK for things IS to give you the opportunity to say no when it is the right response for you using used cell phones.  Remember that and take a look at these additional techniques.

Change How You Delivery a No

Saying no to most people may seem to harsh and often they are simple too uncomfortable with the words.  You can soften and change the delivery of a ‘no’ by a few things:

  • give an explanation – this helps associate logic with the response (some p
    eople value that)
  • say you want to, but simply cannot or are unable to at that time
  • No thanks, I’m simply not interested.
  • Well I’d love to, but I don’t have time this weekend, sorry.
Saying no doesn’t have to be a negative thing or in any way rude.  Be polite yet clear that you are saying no and deliver it in a way that is more comfortable for you.  If you think back to all the times you have agreed to something and later regretted it, you will find it much easier to remember that you should be willing to say no.

Say No When It Truly Matters

When first learning to say no, it might be very difficult to have that response for everything you want to actually say no to.  There are certainly things you value your time for more than others and its these most important things you value that will help you say no when requests come piling in for your time.  Perhaps its your time with your family you value most, perhaps its your activities, a special event; whatever it is, remembering to keep time available or that important item will help you identify which requests you should start saying ‘no’ to.  The ones that will impact your important time the most, the things that truly matter to you, those are the ones you need to start saying no to first.

Look at your priorities and ask yourself if the new request is more important than those top priority items you want to keep time for and ask if you can fit it in without loosing the time you need for what truly matters.  If either are at risk, it might be a good time to say no.

Keep Previous Commitments

For me, commitments mean a lot and I intend to uphold every commitment that I make.  It builds trust with others when you do what you say and you gain a lot of confidence when you are able to actually deliver the things you promise.  That trust can be something you hold a lot of value in or it can be something you put at risk.  When you are asked for a new commitment, often there is a previous commitment at stake and some risk you won’t have the ability or time to uphold both.  My advice is to keep the first one, keeping that trust and learning to say no to next conflicting request.  Over time, if you are able to maintain commitments and keep that trust with others, the times when you need to say no because of another commitment, become much easier and authentic.  In other words, people will believe you have a legitimate reason and won’t second guess you or think you are just making excuses.  Saying no becomes a lot easier when you have something such as trust at stake and you want to uphold for your character more than some new one off request.  Also, when you know you are going to carry through on any commitment you do make, even something that doesn’t conflict know with an important task, you will know that it might get in the way of something new that comes in that will be more important.  If you already committed to do the first thing, you won’t leave much room for new additional requests that might be more important to you.  Keep this in mind as well and learn to say no when when something isn’t a priority for you and you think it will create a conflicting commitment.  Keep your previous commitments and build that trust with others by doing what you say you will do and sticking to your promises.  If that means you need to say no more often, then at least it is a very good reason to do so.

Don’t Mask It, Use the Word No

Sometimes its hard to say no because you are too subtle, or only hinting that you might say no. Many people won’t take no as an answer or will keep pressuring you if you are not clearly saying no.  Once you’ve had some practice saying no in the other methods in this article, it becomes even easier to start using the word no directly.  Its OK to be direct sometimes as it prevents people from pushing harder or making assumptions that you might change your mind or commit with a bit more nagging.  When you really do want to say no, you should really use the word directly in your response and not mask it behind a maybe or I’ll get back to you.  Simply be polite and say no.

Offer a Suggestion or Another Option

Finally, another great way to learn to say no is to offer another suggestion or option when you are not willing to take on the request.  You can say no to what is asked directly, but then still offer something in return if you are not yet comfortable saying no and leaving it at that (Brother MFC 9970CDW).  You might offer another time that works better for you, you might offer to help for only a portion of what was asked or perhaps you can do something in another way, or lead them to someone else who would not want to say no and be more interested.  Whatever the request, if you do have something else to offer as a suggestion, it can make saying no yourself much easier to do.  I’m certainly not recommending that you deflect requests to other people so you can get out of it, I’m only suggesting to offer a better or more likely solution, which might be someone who is more interested, or it might be something else they could do as an alternative.  What ever else you come up, keep it helpful and genuine.  Offer the other option while you firmly say no to the original request and only offer an alternative that you would want to commit to, otherwise it is still best to simply say no and leave it at that.

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