Learn How To Say No: Focusing On Yourself
Do you need to learn how to say no to others? At work do you look up at the clock and realize an entire work day has gone by and you haven’t gotten anything done for yourself? What about if you’ve ever looked at your calendar and realized an entire week is already over? These are some really great examples of needing to know when to say no to other people.
Our lives are constantly full of other people’s lives at the same time. You have coworkers, friends, family, loved ones, kids and so many other people whose needs and lives coexist with your own.
It’s extremely easy to get so caught up in other people’s needs that we often neglect our own. Not only that, but the pressure that comes with constantly feeling you have to say “yes” to everything… girl I’ve been there.
That’s the purpose of this post. To teach you the importance of saying no and some tips and tricks on how to say no in all the areas of your life.
Common Misconception: Saying no will make you seem rude and disagreeable.
This can’t be further from the truth!
Learning how to say no is a skill that we might need to retrain ourselves to think about. Instead of seeing no as a negative, try to see no as a valuable tool for self care.
Tips for Learning How To Say No
- Be Firm: You shouldn’t have to apologize for your needs or have to explain your feelings.
Simply saying no should be plenty to get your point across.
Make a conscious effort to take ownership of your needs. This can be an excellent reminder of why you are saying no.
- Think It Over: If someone asks you to do something with them, but you aren’t quite sure of your answer – tell them.
Simply say you are not quite sure of your answer. Then take the time to make your decision. This avoids you answering prematurely without having time to think about how you really feel.
Also you have no idea how the rest of your day is going to go. Sometimes shit happens and you just don’t have it in you to go out with your friend. Be honest once you’ve thought of your answer, that’s all you need.
- Set Boundaries: When you are having a hard time following through with when to say no, it can be best to set boundaries for yourself.
This way you know the exact instances for when to say no.
For example if you are trying not to drink, you wouldn’t be going to happy hour with your friends. Since you have already set that boundary for yourself, the answer is easy.
How To Say No: In All the Areas of Your Life
Okay so you are working on mastering the art of saying no, I’m extremely proud!
Have you considered that there will be instances of every aspect of your life where you’re going to have to say no?
Yes, I’m talking about not only at work, but also your friends and family.
It can be easier to say no to your professional coworkers, but the pressure may seem on for your loved ones.
How do you fight that feeling that you are letting the people down you love?
First of all, let me remind you what I mentioned at the beginning of this article:
Retrain your brain on what the word no means.
It’s a term that means you are focusing on self care and your own needs. It does not mean you are turning away from the needs of others.
With that in mind, here are some different ways and scenarios that you can say no to people in all areas of your life.
How To Say NO at Work
“I don’t mind doing half this project, would it be possible to find someone else to finish it up?”
When a coworker went on maternity leave, all of her work was divided up to the rest in the office. After a while it got to a point where you simply can’t take on the completion of another project. Guess what, that’s perfectly understandable. Simply express to your coworkers that you feel confident you can finish some of the project, but will need their help to finish it.
“Thank you for thinking about me for this project, but I have already dedicated the next few days to finishing up (name additional projects here) that you assigned.”
You cannot overfill your plate, it’s simply going to set you up for failure. It’s perfectly fine to say that you are booked. It shows other people you are dedicated and have great planning skills.
“This is really out of my scope and understanding, I think someone else would be far better for this task.”
You are recognizing your own strengths and weaknesses and explaining that you are not best for this job. Maybe the requirements will take too long to learn or you aren’t paid for a particular aspect of that project. Whatever the reason, it’s okay to say that you aren’t confident you can execute the new project.
How To Say NO to Friends
“Thank you for inviting me, but I’m getting tired and just want to go home.”
This is a great way to show people that you are interested, but your self care has to take priority right now. People get that feeling and respond well to honesty. You don’t have to explain yourself either, a simple no is good enough.
“I’m really busy tonight, are you free the same time next week?”
Is there something you’d really like to be a part of but simply can’t for the time being? Let them know that you are interested but can’t tonight. By stating that you are too busy is all it should take. You don’t need to explain your schedule.
“Sorry y’all, that just makes me uncomfortable, but I hope y’all have fun!”
This one is important to remember. It is absolutely perfectly fine to say no to something because it makes you feel uncomfortable. That is the exact time you should say no. But you shouldn’t have to go into detail on why you are uncomfortable.
How To Say NO to Family
“I had a rather long day and just need an hour or so to recharge.”
Long days can wear on your psyche. Sometimes the first thing you should do when you get home is take time to decompress from the day. This lets your loved one know you will be there for them once you take some time for yourself.
“I’m busy right now, but once I get done with what I’m doing I would love to hear all about it.”
Okay this one is for when your family is getting overwhelmingly needy. Sometimes you are simply too busy to engage with them. So let them know that! Tell them that as soon as you are finished you will find them and finish your previous conversation. They will probably prefer your attention later on when you can give it to them uninterrupted.
“I have too much to do today, I won’t have time to get to it.”
Has your family members ever requested your time and you actually had too much going on? This is when you can tell them to be realistic of what they are asking of you. You aren’t saying no forever, just for the time being.
Knowing when to say no and how to say no to those we spend every day with, can be difficult. Remember, we are going to have our re train our minds on what the word no means.
It isn’t a negative, it’s a positive. You are choosing your self care over something less important!
You can also check out my post about the importance of planning in your life! Now that you have mastered saying no, you can see how it relates to how you are spending your time by tracking it in your planner!