Ways To Say No Elegantly
Looking for ways to say no?
Many people have dealt with this.
Somebody asks you a favor or assigns you something, and you know the best thing to do would be to say no!.
But all too often we choose the most comfortable option by saying yes.
Only to realize later on that this may have seemed the easy option but is the hardest.
Because the consequence, of having said yes, looms heavy on you.
“I have been accused of never saying no.”
Know your limits.
When a friend, co-worker, or family member asks you something that you feel you can't do, say no.
This might not please the other person.
But knowing and guarding your limits can help you from being overworked unnecessarily.
If you don't respect your time, who else will?
In general, people find it difficult saying ‘no’ when being asked to do something, attend an event or party, or something as simple as visiting a friend.
The most trying part of not being able to say no is that you may be asked to do something you don’t want to do.
You run the risk of being taken advantage of, not to mention the undue stress caused to yourself because you wanted to say no.
Ways To Say No
So why do we feel we need to say yes when we want to say no?
It could be the fear of not being liked, the need to make others happy, or the need to please.
It is a feeling of guilt that is more overpowering than having enough respect for ourselves and to say no honestly with no regrets.
Understanding Your Right to Say “No.”
When asked to do anything that you genuinely do not want to do or participate in, keep the following in mind:
- You have every right to say no.
- Don’t let anyone take advantage of you.
When you always say yes, you set yourself up as the person that everyone goes to when they need something done.
Solopreneurs fall in this trap often because they are afraid to miss out on opportunities further down the road if they say no.
- Saying no is not rude.
Use a calm voice, and politely tell, “No.”
- You do not need a reason or an excuse for saying no.
- When you already have plans or goals set for yourself, do not feel guilty in saying no.
Have respect for your needs.
Even when someone continues to pursue asking you for that favor after you have said no, stick with your answer.
Restate it as many times as you need, until the person understands that you mean no.
Ways To Say No to Your Boss
There is great fear in saying no to your boss; however, respect is a two-way street.
When respect is given, respect is received.
So what do you do if, for instance, your boss asks you to complete a task that will turn your schedule upside down or even cause you to work late when you had after work plans?
It’s important to be flexible in the workplace, but not by losing your respect.
Here are some respectful ways of saying no, without using the word ‘no’:
- Share your priority list with your boss.
Explain to your boss the other priorities you have for the day, and ask where his or her task fits in with the work that was already given to you.
After all you only have a finite number of hours to allocate within your time management planning.
- Have your boss decide what will be done and what will have to wait until tomorrow.
- If your boss insists that everything is a priority, explain that within the time frame given, your best work may not be done when divided amongst all those tasks.
- Provide an alternative to your boss, that the job he or she wants to be done can’t be completed by you today, but you can work on it first thing in the morning. Or suggest that someone else in the office can provide support to your boss.
Most importantly, whether it’s a friend, co-worker, parent or boss that asks you to do something, saying no does not require any justification or reasoning.
Keeping your response short will prove to the person asking you for something that you are honest, credible, and respectful.
Simple Ways to Say No Now
There may be occasions where you need to say no in the present, but you would like to keep your options open if you think you may change your mind.
Here are four simple ways to nicely say no with the opportunity to say yes later if you choose to
- “That sounds like so much fun!”
- “That sounds like a great idea! You should begin pursuing that.”
- “I would love to help you right now, but I can’t. Maybe next time.”
- “Wow, I’m flattered that you asked me, but this is not a good time for me at the moment.”
- “I would love to help you, but maybe ____ can assist you?”
- “I’m unable to assist you at this moment, have you considered _____?”
Ways To Say No with Tact
Having self-respect means that you don’t always have to say yes, and there may be times that no is the only option.
Avoid pressuring yourself and allowing stress to take over your day by saying “no” with tact.
It keeps your confidence up and allows others to have respect for you.
It is not necessary to be overly apologetic or defensive with your response.
As long as you keep an even tone in your voice and be polite, your answer will be taken with respect.
Don’t build false hopes.
If you mean no, stick to it.
Don’t give the person asking any options that you may change your mind.
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