Ways & How

how to say no to people

how to say no to people

Today’s lifestyle is far from yesteryear’s when people were so relaxed and laid back. Nowadays, we need to strive on a daily basis to be able to cope. This is because there are now more “wants” than the resources we manage to acquire. It’s not like before that children were very happy just to play games with their friends outdoors. Now they want gadgets to play with each other. How to say “no” to people is essential for your survival. Do it properly when you have other important things to do:

  1. Be direct with your answer. Saying, “I’ll see if there’s anything I can do to help you” or “I’ll try” will leave the one asking for help hanging. Yes, you are being nice, but imagine the damage you caused because your friend is counting on you. Better to be firm in your refusal based on the availability of your time or simply not wanting to do something. This might turn people off, but at least you won’t be causing too much trouble. It can also ruin the friendship if you just keep on trying to help through words and not through actions.


    Do not commit right away without reviewing your priorities. Better to say “No, sorry I can’t help at this time” if you are not sure. There’s no point in giving false hopes to people who are in dire need of help. Your straightforward answer will allow them to have more time in thinking for other options. It is cruel to say “yes” right away and then withdraw later on when the deadline is near.

  2. If time is the only problem, you can bargain by asking if it is acceptable that you’ll do it at a later schedule when your load is not that heavy anymore. If you reach an agreement, then be sure to fulfill what you promised. Do not just say “yes” because they are being insistent. It’s your call not theirs.

  3. If you really want to do the request to return a favor received in the past but you are really pressed for time, explain your situation with all honesty. Ask if there’s anything else you could do at a more favorable date. There must be other tasks that are not so time sensitive.

  4. Explaining why you can’t help is not necessary, but some are obliged to make excuses when asked why. You might not be the best person to do the job, or your errands are already up to your neck. Everything will be fine as long as you’re honest.

  5. There’s always time for everything when you want it. Spare some but do not neglect your needs because you can only be of better help when you are stable. You don’t have to be well-off to be helpful to others. You just have to have the stability in life so that when you take on other people’s tasks, your life will not sink into disaster. Saying, “Sorry, I need time for myself also,” will be good enough. This will show others how busy you are professionally since you have to spare some time to attend to the things that you’ll have to do personally.

How to say no to people is not difficult at all if you are not a people pleaser. You won’t also be in a dilemma if you don’t owe a lot of favors to anyone. Unless you are competing for a popularity contest, just say “no” if you can’t really comply or do not have the capacity to be helpful. Your refusal will be soon forgotten so you do not have to feel guilty about it.


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