You Don’t Have To Feel Guilty Saying No
Being too nice can sometimes become a problem for you, if you let it. People can take your kindness as a weakness and try to get their things done easily through you. If you’re good at heart, this doesn’t mean you should please people by doing anything they want, whenever they want it. Learn how to tell someone no or they might take advantage of you.
If you’re always thinking about others, but don’t take care of your own needs, you’re hurting yourself and compromising your feelings and happiness. This is not to say you should only think about yourself and not care about others. The bottom line is, you can’t give from an empty tank, so consider both yourself and others to find a balance. Rather than bending over backwards to please people, look for different ways to say no to things that don’t interest you or may shatter your confidence and disturb your life.
There are a number of ways to say no to people without hurting them. The simplest is, “No, thank you.” But since most of us find this hard to do, we’ll talk about three principles behind saying no so you don’t have to be stuck thinking, “When I say no I feel guilty.” Then let’s explore different ways to say no and still keep your relationships healthy. Practice using an appreciative, gentle and firm tone of voice, and you get better at how to tell someone no while communicating you still care.
1. Your needs are a priority. Remember the safety instructions they give on an airplane in case of an emergency? Put on your own oxygen mask first, or you won’t have the strength to take care of others. If you’re not concerned about your needs, no one else will be. Take care of yourself and spend time with the people you love. Don’t compromise your values and happiness…keep them as a priority in your life.
Different ways to say no to keep your needs a priority:
- It sounds easier for you guys to go to XYZ restaurant. Go ahead and stick to that plan. I won’t be making it since I’m on a 30-day cleanse diet.
- I’m sorry, I can’t babysit in the afternoon, I have a dentist’s appointment.
- I’m going to have to miss this one, I’ve got a date with my daughter / husband / son.
2. Set boundaries. It’s not your job to please everybody. Your boundaries tell you what’s in your yard and what’s under your care. It’s perfectly alright to say no to anything outside your yard. Be direct rather than making an excuse. If needed, give them a valid reason so they can understand you clearly. For example, you don’t give any favors until it’s absolutely necessary, you don’t work for extra hours if it interferes with your family, etc.
Different ways to say no to honor your boundaries:
- I’ll check my schedule and get back to you.
- May I work from home on that day? I can’t stay at the office until that hour.
- I can’t wait to hang out with you, but I’ve only got 30 minutes on that day. Can we reschedule?
3. Don’t do things for acceptance. Most people fall prey to When I say no I feel guilty. Saying no to a friend does not mean saying no to the friendship. There’s nothing wrong in saying no to people, as it’s your decision and they should respect it. Don’t worry what others think about you – it’s their perception and it may not be accurate. Plus, they’re most likely worrying what others think about them, so be happy as you are.
Different ways to say no to prevent doing things for acceptance:
- Thank you for the invitation, but I won’t be making the party. Have a great time!
- I’m sorry I can’t do that, but here’s what I can do…
- Are you sure it’s as bad as you’re saying it is? I’ve heard some good things about it.
- I’m sorry, I’m probably not the best person to help you with that one. Have you asked so-and-so?
Be confident and compassionate as you experiment with different ways to say no. Being able to say no with gentle firmness is a sign of confidence. It should be received in a positive way. Doing favors is good but you cannot please everyone. Respect your work and yourself, as you cannot let people misuse your kindness to get their work done.
I hope this article helps you understand why and how to tell someone no. Saying no is nothing to feel guilty about, as it opens your time and heart to help the people you can help, that genuinely need it. Free yourself to give from a true joyful heart.
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