We have all done favours or helped other people without wanting to because we have been afraid of disappointing them. Here are five ways to say no without feeling guilty
We’ve all been there, saying no and feeling crappy afterwards. I know this feeling too well. There have been a number of scenarios where I lost a lot of money, precious time, sleep and even my resources trying to please other people by saying yes to their requests all the time. Not only did it deprive me of my own peace of mind and happiness but I honestly feared being made to look like I was the bad guy for not helping someone. But there comes a time where you have to put yourself and well-being first no matter how someone else feels about it. if you really can help, then by all means please do, but if you really want to say no. Here’s how:
Just say it frankly: Sometimes, beating about the bush really worsens things. If you really cannot do what is requested, just say ‘no, I really can’t.’ If they push and want reasons, just say I have other things to commit to, or be honest with your reasons.
Be polite in your approach: gently tell the person that you can’t help right now, but maybe in the near future if you really can. Don’t be someone who’s unapproachable because all need help at some point, but don’t be a door mat as well.
Empathise but don’t be an easy target: Understand where a person is coming from, but also read between the lines. Other people are manipulative and even controlling in their approach, to a point where saying no is really not possible with them. With such people, stand your ground no matter how guilty they make you feel and if need be keep your distance from them. You are really not their free Uber, ATM or tool which they do their errands with.
Set boundaries: people often take advantage of others because boundaries had not been set from the beginning. Take it from me, trying to please others, especially your family, friends, neigbours or even the family of your partner by saying yes all the time will make you miserable. Be kind and generous where you can but don’t be bullied into anything you don’t want to do.
Don’t apologise for saying no: this is one of the signs that you feel guilty about not being able to do something for someone, if you really can’t why feel bad about it. You need to understand that you can’t do everything for everyone. You also need to understand your value as a person. If you always say yes because you need other people’s approval then you need to understand where this comes from. Putting yourself first and loving yourself unconditionally is your biggest project in this world, if saying no is a part of this journey, then so be it. People who really value and love you will understand, those who are just using you will make you feel bad. Know the difference.