How To Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Is it difficult for you to say no? If you feel obligated to comply with every request or invitation you receive, it’s time to switch things up.

Unfortunately, it’s very common for people to say yes when they intuitively want to say no. Although it may seem silly, many people will automatically say yes to avoid hurting feelings or because they are afraid that people won’t view them as a team player. This poor habit can leave you feeling resentful, frustrated, and defeated.

Follow these tips to learn how to say no with confidence.

Be straightforward

One of the best things you can do is be upfront, direct, and straightforward about saying no. Avoid using phrases like maybe later, I’m not sure, I’ll see, or I’ll try, and instead be firm with your response. Although it may be uncomfortable at first, people will appreciate your integrity and good character in the long run.

Don’t make excuses

After politely declining a request, don’t make up an elaborate excuse or feel that you have to explain your decision. Avoid rambling or sharing irrelevant information.

Suggest an alternative

Suggest alternative solutions when appropriate. Perhaps you can’t meet up with a friend tonight, but you can invite him or her to join you for dinner on the weekend. Or maybe you don’t want to hang out with your colleagues on the weekend; let them know that you have other commitments that keep you tied up beyond your 9 to 5, but you’re happy to grab lunch with them during the week.

Helen Marie Fox is a health and performance coach who has helped hundreds of individuals and groups perform at their best. Her strategic approach to goal achievement leaves people armed with the knowledge, skills and essential mindset required to create change. Read more


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