How To Say No (Without The Guilt)

May 2, 2014
health, saying no, communication, emotional wellbeing, techniques, mind

Sometimes saying ‘no’ can often make one feel guilty about their decision, but there is a respectful way to get your point across. This is a common scenario that we have all experienced, where at times being nice to others is at the expense of ourselves. The right way to say ‘no’ is easier said than done, but explaining your situation, being truthful about your intentions and properly communicating with people can make the situation more smoother to deal with.

Be respectful

There is a correct way to say ‘no’ although it comes down to respecting the other person and their decision. It’s probably best not to cancel plans or say no at the last minute, after you’ve already made a decision because you’ve got cold feet. This behaviour is not only unreliable but isn’t in good taste either.

Don’t feel guilty

There’s only one worse thing than saying no, and that is saying yes without wanting to take part in what the other person has proposed. The best option is to be honest, and respectfully make your point be heard. Be firm about your decision, and don’t sit on the fence with your point of view. If you’re dealing with someone face to face, make sure you are firm with the tone of your voice and maintain eye contact.

Requires an explanation?

There is a debate whether saying no to someone or in a certain situation even requires an explanation. This is all based on context, and what exactly the situation requires of you. If the scenario is about lending money, be truthful and explain how this isn’t a financially viable option for you at the moment. Avoid white lies since they could catch up with you in the future.

Think it through

Take a moment and think through if this particular decision is right for you. It doesn’t hurt to think it over, and prepare what you’re going to say ahead of time. Sometimes keeping it short and sweet is the best way say no. Rambling and long explanations will feel like you are trying to convince yourself, rather than the other person.

Image via transformleaders.tv

By Felicia Sapountzis

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