I have a confession to make…even though I know better, I load up my calendar with responsibilities and commitments that I have no business doing. I often have trouble saying no when someone asks me to do something.
Can you relate?
Why do we do this? Why can’t we just say no?
Let me share a few reasons I’ve come up with. See if any of these apply to you.
- We don’t want to let people down.
- The opportunity sounds fun or exciting.
- We think we have time to take on the responsibility or commitment.
- If we don’t say yes this time, we may be rejected and not asked to participate any longer.
So how can we conquer these reasons and learn how to say no?
Try these 3 tips to help you learn how to say no
Become aware of your current responsibilities and commitments
If we are following effective time management practices, then it is much easier to see what we already have on our plate. Keeping your calendar up to date is a solid first step in managing your time well. Knowing what is already on our calendar helps us to be more aware of the time we’ve already committed.
Never say yes right away
Always ask for a period of time to consider the opportunity before you give an answer.
I have learned that if I just say I need to check my calendar or, more importantly, pray about it, generally people will give me the grace to have that time.
You should never feel pressured to give an answer right away.
Understand that no is a complete sentence
If you feel an opportunity is not right for you, just say no. You not under any obligation to explain the reason you are saying no.
Feeling like we need to give an answer taps into our habit of being a people pleaser. We feel like we need to have a valid excuse for saying no. In reality, it really is no one else’s business why we feel like we can’t take on a commitment.
If you feel like you need to have a polite way of saying no, here are a few options you can use:
- I’m sorry, but my schedule just doesn’t allow me to have enough time to do this.
- Thank you for asking me to help out. I’m flattered you’d consider me for the job. However, I have made it a priority for me to only take on one special project at a time, and I’m already committed to something else.
- I’m not able to help out at this time. However, feel free to ask me to help another time and maybe I’ll be free then.
I promise once you say no a few times, it will get much easier.
What are your tips for saying no?