I have a hard time saying no to people sometimes. Especially when it involves going out and where spending is mandatory….ya’ll know I have financial goals to reach this year! I fear looking like a cheapskate or a wet blanket. I want to be the fun person who is always down for spontaneity but more often than not, being a “yes person” doesn’t benefit me. The caption of this post is not just some platitude to fight the crack/cocaine epidemic of the 80’s (not to minimize the endeavor) but it is a vital part of our growth as people. We have the obligation as human beings to help those in need if it is within our power to do so. But when the needs of others begin to persistently encroach on our lifestyle, goals etc we have to take a step back. There have been so many times over the years when my friends invite me to do something and I would go so as not to disappoint but then I’d feel bad/guilty because what I had to get done was left neglected. I go to the movies instead of studying for an exam that I have been running away from but must take just for my piece of mind. I’m learning to implement a view guidelines for politely declining requests and finding balance:
- NO is a complete sentence. If you genuinely can’t oblige someone (or just don’t feel like it ha!) then that should be the end of story. Many times I find myself saying no and then offering explanations or an excuse or worse mention a way to make it up to that person that I don’t have much intention of carrying out! That’s awful because I am working to become a person of my word. Just say no, explanations needed.
- More than likely the person is not necessarily keeping a tally of how many times you turn down an invitation. Sometimes I will go along with someone because (inaccurately) in my head I’ve rejected them so many times and I feel bad. People are very busy these days it’s doubtful that they are counting the many times you’ve said no. They have better things to do. Of course if you say no to a particular person ALL the time they will take it personally which is why you want to make sure you are able to do something before committing. Just tell them you’ll think about it ( and really think about it, don’t just say that), consult your calendar and get back to them as soon as you can with an answer.
- Thank the person for thinking of you. It’s wonderful having people in your life that want to spend time with you, so you want to express that you appreciate them and for considering you as a hangout partner. Take the initiative when it is a good time for you and host/plan a gathering yourself then invite them. Always show consideration when possible
- Avoid overpromising and under-delivering. There is nothing worse than saying you can do something and not be able to follow through because you lacked certain resources. If you are asked to perform a task and you know you are not able to do it , then politely decline and maybe think of alternatives that you think will fill the persons needs. Always strive for honesty.
Well that’s my two cents on practicing how to say no. I know guys ,it’s NOT easy! Especially if you’ve been a yes person all your life. But you want to be able to honor your word and stay true to yourself.
Have you been a yes person but found a way to nicely draw boundaries with folks? Let us know below!