• say no. sit back. switch off.

 

Situations where friends, colleagues or acquaintances have asked you to do something you would rather not do arise commonly. Whether that is hosting book club for the 5th time in a row, letting someone stay with you when it’s a major inconvenience or committing to plans that you actually aren’t interested in - you are allowed to decline. Many find it often instigates feelings of guilt. Saying ‘no’ without feeling guilty is quite an art form. We’ve dug into why you can, why you should and how to go about it.

 

why //

The majority of people feel bad for saying no, because it inherently feels as though you are rejecting that person. It has negative associations and sometimes invites conflict. We are conditioned to go with the path of least resistance, be compliant and helpful whenever possible. This doesn’t have to go so far as to compromise your own wellbeing.

 

 

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” - Warren Buffett

 

Although the definition of success is subjective, the logic behind his quote is sound regardless of how you personally quantify success. This is because saying no to obligations that don’t benefit you frees up that time. Saying no effectively and without guilt also diminishes any mental energy you would have spent on it. This is time and energy you can spend on something else. Time you can spend on you.

 

 

You could be contemplating saying no for a variety of reasons, but it usually comes down to two: setting boundaries, and managing your time effectively. The ability to do those effectively will allow you to thrive in the areas of your life which are important to you, rather than expending on obligations which leave you feeling drained, used or stretched.

 

how //

In order to avoid this there are good and bad ways to say no. The most effective ways don’t leave the door open for discussion on the matter, but remain professional and polite. We put together some of the things we find helpful to keep in mind.

  • Just say no. Much of the frustration that is placed on relationships stems from feelings of being let down. In order to temporarily escape the feeling of guilt, many say yes and change their mind once they’ve worked up to it. Often this makes the situation more difficult for the person who asked. 
  • Don’t over compensate. Unless it’s a very close friend or family member, and you feel comfortable explaining your reasoning, do not feel obligated to justify why you can’t help with their request. You have set a boundary by saying no. That should be respected.

 

 

  • Be honest. In order to do this you should examine the reasons behind why you want to decline. It’s unlikely you just ‘don’t want to’. More likely is that life has been busy, you don’t feel as though it’s the best use of your time or it inconveniences you. 
  • Be firm. Often, when not given an immediate response, people will talk themselves into a different decision. Let silence be your friend, rather than be sucked into saying “…maybe I could juggle some things around and get back to you.”

Allowing yourself to be free of all these unwanted obligations will give you the freedom and control you deserve. Feel good about your decisions, make time, and relax.

images // roman bozhko, andrew loke

say no. sit back. switch off.

 

Situations where friends, colleagues or acquaintances have asked you to do something you would rather not do arise commonly. Whether that is hosting book club for the 5th time in a row, letting someone stay with you when it’s a major inconvenience or committing to plans that you actually aren’t interested in - you are allowed to decline. Many find it often instigates feelings of guilt. Saying ‘no’ without feeling guilty is quite an art form. We’ve dug into why you can, why you should and how to go about it.

 

why //

The majority of people feel bad for saying no, because it inherently feels as though you are rejecting that person. It has negative associations and sometimes invites conflict. We are conditioned to go with the path of least resistance, be compliant and helpful whenever possible. This doesn’t have to go so far as to compromise your own wellbeing.

 

 

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” - Warren Buffett

 

Although the definition of success is subjective, the logic behind his quote is sound regardless of how you personally quantify success. This is because saying no to obligations that don’t benefit you frees up that time. Saying no effectively and without guilt also diminishes any mental energy you would have spent on it. This is time and energy you can spend on something else. Time you can spend on you.

 

 

You could be contemplating saying no for a variety of reasons, but it usually comes down to two: setting boundaries, and managing your time effectively. The ability to do those effectively will allow you to thrive in the areas of your life which are important to you, rather than expending on obligations which leave you feeling drained, used or stretched.

 

how //

In order to avoid this there are good and bad ways to say no. The most effective ways don’t leave the door open for discussion on the matter, but remain professional and polite. We put together some of the things we find helpful to keep in mind.

  • Just say no. Much of the frustration that is placed on relationships stems from feelings of being let down. In order to temporarily escape the feeling of guilt, many say yes and change their mind once they’ve worked up to it. Often this makes the situation more difficult for the person who asked. 
  • Don’t over compensate. Unless it’s a very close friend or family member, and you feel comfortable explaining your reasoning, do not feel obligated to justify why you can’t help with their request. You have set a boundary by saying no. That should be respected.

 

 

  • Be honest. In order to do this you should examine the reasons behind why you want to decline. It’s unlikely you just ‘don’t want to’. More likely is that life has been busy, you don’t feel as though it’s the best use of your time or it inconveniences you. 
  • Be firm. Often, when not given an immediate response, people will talk themselves into a different decision. Let silence be your friend, rather than be sucked into saying “…maybe I could juggle some things around and get back to you.”

Allowing yourself to be free of all these unwanted obligations will give you the freedom and control you deserve. Feel good about your decisions, make time, and relax.

images // roman bozhko, andrew loke
  • Author avatar
    Lauren Williams
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