Are you struggling to get ahead with your stuff because others are constantly putting requests to you that you just cannot say no to?

The problem with always giving the affirmative to others’ request is that your own goals get delayed or even scrapped. You are telling yourself that you are not as important as they are and in the process you actually get under appreciated by those whose whim you always suit as well. Not to mention the time you are giving other that is not necessary the best use of yours!

The truth is that in life, in business and family matters, social dealings and negotiations of all kinds sometimes we need to say no.  You’re not available, you don’t have the time and sometimes, let’s be honest, you just don’t want to do someone that favour.

The question is: how can you find ways to say “no” without losing your friends, your credibility or your business reputation?

First, realise that saying “no” in itself is generally not offensive.  If you say it with integrity and clarity, in the majority of cases people will understand.  It’s just reality.

In some instances, like if you are working on a project for someone and they constantly give you conflicting priorities, saying no directly may seem argumentative. Instead try the ‘yes’ tactic. ‘Yes, I can do xyz, however I’ll need to drop one of these other tasks you have given me to achieve that. Which one would you like me to drop?’ With this, you put the ball back into their court.

What about that family member that you like but you know is unreliable with money asks you for a loan… if you are not ready for a candid conversation use a tactic known as “deletion.”  You can say, “I’m sorry.  That would make me very uncomfortable right now.”  You don’t have to say that it’s lending money to them specifically that you’d be uncomfortable with. They can assume it’s your financial business, which you’re not obliged to explain.

Last one is the “direct” approach. In some instances what you are asked may be morally or legally wrong. If you are aware of this you will have to muster up your strength to say no, there is no ifs or buts about it! You may even find that the person who is requesting you to do the thing is not even aware of the legalities.

In such case just say ‘No, I’m sorry. Doing that would put me in a legal situation I am not comfortable with.’ If you have raised their awareness and s

So if you have difficulty with saying “no”…and you’re always trying to be nice to others at the expense of yourself – then I encourage you to practice these simple tactics.

At first, especially if you’ve developed a reputation for always jumping to meet everyone’s requests, you may find some won’t be used to your new approach. But in very short time you’ll realize the enormous difference that saying no diplomatically and respectfully can make to your overall happiness!

Over to You…

Do you take on more than you can handle because you’re too afraid (or don’t know how) to say no? Have you formulated any responses that help you say no, nicely?