I’ve been there. We’ve all been there.
A friend asked you to help them with some tedious project and you really don’t want to. You feel guilty because they could really use the help, but you have other plans you would prefer to do. You grit your teeth and you say yes to your friend, just to regret it right after. Why do we say yes, when we want to say no?
I have the most difficult time saying no to some people, even when I really want to. I didn’t want to be seen as mean, selfish, or bitchy. I hate to say this but, I know I’m really a people pleaser, to the point I hate myself sometimes. I like to see people happy and if I can help it makes me feel good. I wanted everyone to be able to count on me and to think that I was a really nice person who would always be there for them. I had a fear of missing out. So I said yes to everything, like invitations to parties with people I didn’t like or I had no interest in, favors that caused me to really go out of my way, dates with guys I definitely wasn’t crushing on and more. I really hate being so emphatic at times, This is not something that I have been able to hide. All kinds of people seem to just seem to find me.
Now I want to be clear. I can say no, to perfect strangers. Unfortunately, my family and friends could ask me to do anything. It makes me mad that I can buckle so easily for the people who would ask for anything. They would definitely ask for anything. So much so that it gets to be physically uncomfortable. I couldn’t figure out how to say no without feeling incredibly guilty. The guilt can feel like a physical attack. I can feel this growing ache in my stomach. My hands get clammy. I don’t like these gross feelings. I know So I decided to see what other people have done to help this situation.
Here are some tips I picked up while reading a nice article from Jessica Booth on www.Gurl.com 10 tips on how to say no to anything.
Be honest instead of making things complicated. Be honest, not rude. Making up lies that will keep you seemingly busy until the event is over is unnecessary and very tiring for everyone involved.Tell people that you have other plans upfront, but briefly and that you can not help at the requested time. ‘Nuff said.
Be respectful. Again, just try not to be rude. Being brutally honest can hurt a friendship. This can be difficult to avoid with some people. I struggle with this personally. I am a little too honest sometimes, LOL.
Be firm. They will probably try to ask you a few more times to see if you will give in easier each time. If you seem on the fence about the subject, they will just keep asking. If that happens, repeat your wishes and try to change the subject. Polite, but firmly.
Try to compromise. Sometimes you can suggest a compromise. Maybe go at a different time? Try a different location? Just try to find something that both parties will like. Maybe you can make a connection to someone that can be helpful than yourself. Shouldn’t we all get along?
Don’t over-apologize. When you over apologize it can backfire. Over apologizing can make you seem guilty to the other person. This can even be your own personal guilt trying to change your mind, don’t let it. Stay strong!
Explain only if necessary. Offer up some facts if they won’t leave you alone about it.
State the facts clearly. Facts won’t change no matter how many ways or times you explain it, so just keep it short and sweet.
Don’t feel guilty. You shouldn’t feel guilty for placing value on your own time. You can say no and have no hard feelings, it’s ok. Seriously. If others are not going to value your time, shouldn’t you? Saying no to someone else is saying yes to yourself desires. It’s normal to want some time for yourself occasionally.
Don’t Just Put It Off With No Intention Of Doing It. Don’t offer anything that you don’t intend on doing. Asking to go out another time when you really don’t want to, sets expectations that you don’t want to keep. Don’t do it! Just be clear about your intentions or set expectations upfront.
Know when to say yes. It’s true that saying no too often will limit your opportunities. Try not to fall into the rut of saying no too often. Know when to say yes. Set clear boundaries and stick to them.
Move on to a new topic. Say no and move on. Nobody likes an awkward silence after rejection. Find something else fun to talk about. It’s no big deal. If you are still asked repeatedly about the subject, take control the conversation. Move to a different topic. If that doesn’t work, end your conversation. It’s not rude, it keeping your boundaries in place so you don’t give in.