Here is a quote – It comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much.
Contrary to the general perception, saying no can be difficult. People pleasers often find it hard to say no to others for help or a favor, or sometimes, even to themselves. Not surprisingly, they land themselves in trouble, add jobs to their to-do list and miss deadlines, which they could have avoided by simply saying ‘NO’. Stretching yourself too thin to help others can elevate your stress levels and make you susceptible to different mental and physical ailments.
You are not responsible for everyone and everything
Pleasing everyone every time is not possible, as you can help others only if you have spare time and the means to do so. You need to understand that you are neither throwing civility out of the window nor are abandoning someone when you politely refuse. Those few seconds of discomfort are well worth avoiding the additional stress of taking on an extra activity or doing something that does not contribute to your life directly. You must define a proper boundary and adhere to it at all times.
How to say ‘no’
If you are frequently in this position, think ahead of the situation. You should have a plausible reason to decline. Having plenty of tasks to attend to, health reasons, meeting your deadlines and quality are reasons worth saying no. If you are a people pleaser, rehearsing the content in advance is also a good idea. Stand in front of a mirror and utter, ‘I’m sorry. I cannot.’ Even a plain ‘no’ will do the trick.
Say it in a firm tone
One vital fact to remember here is that you have to be firm when you refuse. You cannot afford to be wishy-washy in your response. If your tone lacks firmness, those around you may doubt your seriousness and hence, would not take your ‘no’ for an answer. Your body language should be positive and should reflect controlled aggression. Making eye contact is also important. You have to look the favor seeker in the eye, as it is an indication of your confidence.
Stick to your guns
If you are to cite the reasons for your refusal, simply say that it does not fit within your schedule, and change the subject. While a majority of people will accept that, there are pushy people who will not hesitate to pester you into agreeing. You can just repeat your answer without being rude. If you still find it hard to get rid of them, it is okay to say, ‘Let me think about it and get back to you.’ This offers you a breather to review your schedule and other considerations before getting back to them with a yes or no. Most importantly, this tactic helps you avoid over-scheduling your life and taking on too much stress.