Do you find it hard to say NO to anyone?
Do you find that your boss or colleagues at work are always passing more work on to you? Do you have friends who start so many sentences “Can I ask a favour………” and expect you to drop whatever you're doing to help them out? Perhaps its family members who just always expect you to be the one to sort everything out? Are you the one who always gets asked to help out at the school events? Or find yourself roped into yet another group or committee that you could do without.
If you want to get on with the things in your life that are important to you, and devote time to your own priorities you have to learn that its ok to say NO
Its not selfish – you owe it to yourself to pursue your own interests and to have the time to do those things to the best of your ability.
So here are some good ways to say no – and remember to be polite but firm
- I can’t do it right now but I could help later….. if its something that you really would like to do later
- I can’t do that but I could do ….. offering a lesser commitment
- I can’t help with that but I know someone who could …..suggesting someone you think may want to get involved
- I would rather help with…..if you really dislike what you are being asked to do, its ok to offer help in a different way
- I know that you'll make a good job of this…..maybe the person asking for help is just seeking reassurance about their ability to do it
- I have no experience of that…..don’t take on tasks that you know you can’t do well
- I have another commitment…..if you already have something planned say so
- I do not enjoy that type of work…..you will not do a good job of something you hate doing
- I am not taking on any new responsibilities right now…..leaves the opportunity to help out at a later date
- I am not comfortable with that…..if something goes against your principles or beliefs just say no
- I’m just not able to do that…..better to say no than agree to do something and then let them down later
- I would like to take on the responsibility, but feel it will jeopardise my other commitments….for when your boss asks you to take on more than you are able to cope with
- I can see that this is going to need doing but I am not in a position to take on new tasks right now…..pre empting the request is easier than saying no once its been asked
- I will get back to you…..when you would like to help, but need to check on other priorities first
- I need to leave some free time for myself/ my family….. this is not selfish but essential for a balanced and happy life
And remember, you deserve to choose how to spend your time, even if what you want to do more than anything in the world is relax in a hot bath with a good book. We all need time out. Enjoy.