Thursday, August 6, 2009

5 tips to help you say "NO"

It's such a small word but so difficult to use sometimes. We seem to use this word so easily with our spouse and children but have a hard time saying it to other people. So the trick is to figure out how and when to say no.

I'm not saying that you should be selfish and never help anybody out. However, most people are running around stressed because they're saying yes to everybody but themselves.

You should only be saying yes when you genuinely want to do something, you feel excitement at the thought of doing it or it ties in with your life goals or definition of success. If you have trouble saying no…and we all do, keep reading for some tips that might just help you out!


  1. Realize that when you say “yes” to one thing, you ALWAYS say “no” to something else.

When this happens, you usually say no to the more important parts of your life - God, family, yourself. For example, you're asked to help out on a committee at your child's school. You could end up so busy with committee work that you deprive your child of quality time.


  1. You don't have to have another appointment in order to say “no”.

If you've planned to have an evening in (reading, TV, whatever...) and you get invited out, this does not automatically mean you have to accept. An appointment with yourself is just as important as one with other people. Value your time!


  1. You don't have to be rude or ugly about it - there are many ways to say “no”.

No can be "I can't help you this time", "I can only do it next month", "that's not my strong suit" or simply "no, thanks".


  1. You should have said “no”, if you feel resentment after saying “yes”.

Learn to listen to your heart. The Bible says that we mustn't give grudgingly or under compulsion, and yet, so many of us do. We say yes, and harbor deep feelings of resentment and bitterness. Nothing good comes from a resentful attitude.


  1. If you can’t say “no” right away, buy yourself some time to think about it first.

Always check your calendar first before committing to plans. Or just take a deep breath. Otherwise you end up saying yes to everything and at the end of a hectic period, you're virtually burnt out.


Hopefully these tips will help you to say “no” to those things you really don’t want to do and don’t have time to do. Just remember that saying “no” comes easier when you are confident in your own abilities. Don’t apologize when you say “no”, simply explain that you can not do it at this time and move on. Don’t worry about what they think of you.


And as with everything else, saying “no” gets easier with practice. It actually becomes empowering when you realize that you made the correct decision and have more time and energy to spend on the things you really wanted to do!


So start this week, pick one thing that you really don’t want to do or don’t have room in your schedule to do and say “no”. Then fill that slot with something you really do enjoy doing instead!

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