How to Say No (and Why It’s Important)

How to say no and why it's importantAre you sick and tired of feeling overworked, overstressed, and like you have no free time?

Do you constantly find yourself overcommitted and juggling how to fit just one more thing into your calendar?

We are tired of this too! That’s why we are talking about how you can say no (even to family and friends) and why it’s important in this week’s episode of the podcast.

It can be so hard to say no. You may find yourself feeling guilty, especially if you say no to friends and family, or if you say no to taking on more work and earning more money. But saying no can become easier over time and it’s actually very important to learn to say no.

Read on to find out the do’s and don’ts of saying no and why it’s an important word to have in your vocabulary.

Do Take Time to Think it Over

One of the biggest reasons people say “yes” to things they don’t really want to do is because they feel pressured to answer right away. This is especially true if you are asked in-person, but it’s become even more common via other forms of communication as well. With the constant connection people have to email, text, and social media these days, we’ve become accustomed to getting an answer right away.

This is the biggest reason you’ll end up doing things you aren’t passionate about or don’t value – because you felt compelled to answer right away. When you feel that pressure, you often don’t have time to clearly think over your decision to decide if you really want to say yes or no to a request.

So, next time you are asked a “favor” or a request is made of you, take the time to think it over. You can still let people know you received their message with a simple, “Let me think about it!” answer.

Don’t Drag it Out

While taking time to think it over before answering is a great way to avoid yessing yourself into an overbooked schedule, you shouldn’t drag it out. Take the time you need to think about a request, but don’t avoid answering altogether. You can’t simply ignore a person or their request, because they probably won’t forget about it. Then when they ask again, you’ll feel guilty and may end up saying yes even though you’d already decided you should say no.

Don’t Over (or Under) Explain

When you do decide to say no, be careful about tacking on too long of an explanation. You may feel like you need to a valid reason (or 10) as to why you are saying no. But the truth is, you don’t need to do this! Giving several reasons why you have to say no to someone won’t make you feel any less guilty. Instead, just offer a simple explanation that we’ve found to work most of the time:

“No, I can’t help with XYZ, because I wouldn’t be able to give it my full attention right now.”

Leave it at that. There’s no reason to over apologize or over explain why you are saying no.

Do Offer an Alternative

One way to still be helpful to the asker is to offer an alternative when you say no. For example, offer to help at a different time when it’s more convenient for you, or offer to point them in a direction to someone else who might be able to help them instead. If it’s someone asking for your help for a charitable organization, perhaps you could offer a monetary contribution instead of donating your time.

Offering an alternative isn’t something you must do every time you say no. When you offer an alternative, make sure it’s something that’s easier or less complicated for you.

Don’t Feel Guilty

This may be the hardest tip, but when you say no, don’t feel guilty! Remember, why it’s important to say no from time to time and there’s absolutely no reason why you should feel guilty.

Why It’s Important to Say No

There are several reasons why it’s important to say no. One reason is because saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way means you can’t dedicate your entire focus on doing the best job possible for everything you’ve said yes to. You won’t be able to provide your 100% focus to anything if you don’t say no to some things.

Another reason to say no is because you have to put yourself first. If you are constantly saying yes to everything and everyone else, you’ll lose sight of your values and priorities. When that happens, you might realize one day that you are on a completely different life path than you set out to achieve. It’ll take a lot of work to get back to your original path, so it’s easier to just say no to the things that won’t help you get there in the first place.

Finally, saying no isn’t a bad thing. In fact, saying no could be a good thing. When you say no to doing things you don’t want to do, you are able to yes to so many other things like:

  • Taking care of yourself
  • Having a day off
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Relaxing and recharging to the best you can be

For more tips on how to say no and why it’s important, listen to our podcast episode below.

How to say no and why it's important

In this episode we discuss:

  • 2:05 – How to say no and not feel guilty
  • 6:20 – Saying no to friends and family
  • 10:30 – How Chonce has gotten better at saying no
  • 22:45 – Changing your mindset – What are you giving up by saying yes to everything?
  • 27:00 – If it’s not a “hell yes”, say no!
  • 28:30 – When you say yes, you are still saying no to something else!

Related Links to Check Out:

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