The art of saying “no”


When it comes to making it in this life, it might seem as though you have to say “yes” to everything to get what you want, right? However, this can leave us overloaded with work and struggling to keep up. Rather than pile your plate too high anymore, we think it’s time to learn the art of saying “no” instead.

Practice makes perfect

Of course, one way to perfect saying “no” is to practice as much as you can. Start out by letting the word roll off your tongue while you’re alone. Then, take all that practice out onto the real world and begin to reject offers you would have normally accepted. It doesn’t have to be big. In fact, you can start with a “no” to an extra portion or to an item at the grocery store and work up from there.

Prioritize your time

Saying “no” should get you out of those tasks you don’t want to do as well as giving you the extra time you might have been looking for over the years. Knowing how valuable your time is to you is one of the best ways to keep your mind on track when mastering the word. If you’re already busy, you might be letting them down anyway by accepting and not having time to help.

Prepare for the word

Sometimes it can be easy to spot those tell-tale signs that someone is going to ask you to do something. Has someone bought you a cupcake? Maybe they offered to help you out when they never usually would? By preparing yourself for the fact you might have to say “no,” you should hopefully be one step ahead of the game.

Keep options open

Occasionally we can be quick to respond to an offer only to go away and regret our decision. Don’t worry; this has happened on more than one occasion. Rather than shutting down the proposal, it could be in your best interests to offer up time in the future. You don’t have to dedicate your time, but getting them to ask later gives you a chance to consider their offer.

Take some time

If someone has asked you to make a big decision and you’re just not sure, then be honest! Sometimes all it takes is a good night’s sleep and some time away from the situation to help you make a decision rather than accepting and immediately regretting it, or hurting someone’s feelings by saying “no.”

Don’t apologize

It can be easy to find yourself apologizing as to why you can’t do something. However, you should never be made to feel as though you should justify your decision or that you are in the wrong. Apologizing can often be seen as being polite. However, it can also make it seem as though you aren’t sure about your decision or that you could be persuaded to change your mind.

Pad out the no

Just because you don’t want to help or don’t have the time to do something in your busy schedule doesn’t mean you don’t like the idea, and sometimes the other person might need to hear this. Complimenting their concept or plan, or even commenting on how it sounds brilliant but doesn’t fit with your lifestyle are all ways you can leave the conversation on a high note.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves – and others – that no means no, no matter the case. It can be easy to accept offers you would much rather avoid all to try and please everyone else, but hopefully perfecting the art of saying “no” will help you live a much happier life in the long run.