Getting to No – Saying ‘No’ Without Losing Your Friends

I like to please people.

It’s just who I am.

I like to have people like me.
I like to make others happy.
I like to please other people.

I often go too far in making everyone happy.

I’ll admit that I sometimes want to please people and meet the expectations of others way too much. So, I’m learning.

I’m learning to say ‘no’ more.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like to make people happy, but I’m realizing more and more that I have to say no in order to keep myself from going crazy.

I’m betting you do too.

Here are just a few suggestions that I’m learning when saying ‘no’ to those good things that you just can’t make time for (or shouldn’t make time for)…

1. Offer an alternative.
I don’t mean you volunteer someone else, but try to help them understand how they can do it without you there or without your help. Speak to others’ potential.

2. Offer an explanation.
We don’t have to be rude. People often deserve to know why we’re saying no… especially if we’ve often said yes to them in the past. Tell them why it’s changed. They’ll understand.

3. Offer a definitive answer.
Don’t beat around them bush. Even though you want to say ‘no’ politely, don’t leave them thinking you’ll say yes later or may show up after all. Be definitive, just be nice.

What advice do you have? How do you know when to say ‘no?’ What have you found helpful in doing so?


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