We all have times when we’re asked to do things we don’t want to do. If you typically say yes anyway or give an excuse that doesn’t really hold up – this blog is for you.
A client you’d rather not work with.
An event you’d rather not attend.
A task you find incredibly uninteresting.
What do YOU do when you’re faced with things you don’t want to do?
If you’re like a lot of us, you might end up agreeing anyway or giving an excuse that doesn’t really hold up and then, eventually, agreeing anyway.
I’m here to say: it doesn’t have to be that way.
You CAN say no to things you don’t want to do in a way that both maintains your own integrity and is also clear and firm. Before we get into the specifics, here are some general tips:
Gratitude makes any “no” a little softer. Regardless of how you feel about this thing you don’t want to do, you can always express gratitude with authenticity.
Apologizing diminishes the power of your “no” and even worse, opens up space for you to be found at fault, which you’re not.
Being dishonest never ends well. When you are telling someone “no,” don’t include anything that isn’t honest i.e. saying “I wish I could” if you don’t, or offering referrals if you actually don’t want to refer anyone to this person.
10 Ways to Say “No”:
I’m afraid I don’t have the bandwidth for this, however, I appreciate your thinking of me.
I’m not going to be able to make it this time around.
I don’t have room on my plate for this for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, this isn’t something I can do. Can I provide some other recommendations?
I appreciate you reaching out and considering me, however, I can’t take this on at this time.
I’m flattered that you asked, but I’m afraid I have to turn this down.
This is hard, but I need to say “no” to this at this time.
I’m sorry, I can’t. But thank you for asking.
I appreciate you reaching out, but I’m afraid I must politely decline.
I realize this isn’t the answer you were hoping for, but I need to say “no” this time around.
So, there you have it.
Take your pick. Try one out. Try them all. See where they get you. You can do it!
Looking for more?
For more posts related to this topic, you might enjoy “Should I do it? Yes or no?” 5 Ways to Know for Sure, or the EVER popular The People Pleaser’s Cure: Why It’s Ok Not to Be Liked.