How To Say No Gracefully

Top Reasons You Should Say NO

  1. To reach the goals you've set for yourself. When you limit the amount of tasks you commit to you are more apt to actually complete them and you’ll do so with more efficiency. 
  2. To rid yourself of undo stress. You can cause yourself to go into overload and then end up doing nothing at all if you take on too much. Rather than doing 10 things with a sour burnt-out face why not just do 3 things really, really well.
  3. Because you just can’t do it all. Although you may way to rescue every person and help with various tasks, you just cannot lend yourself to any and everything. It may seem like taking on an additional task won’t be to much trouble but there only so many hours in one day and you have to find balance.
  4. To have more energy to do the things you want to do. Be selective in what you say yes to. Choose to say yes only in areas where you know you be an asset rather than a liability. By doing so you will have time and energy left over for your self and your loved ones. 


Approaches to Say NO

  1. The “Perhaps next time” NO. If you really do want to help with a task but are just simply unable to at the present time then politely decline and let the other party know when you might be available to assist.
  2. The “On your own terms” NO. This is where you determine just how much or how little you’ll commit to any given task. You can say “I can help until noon but then I’ll have to leave afterwards” Remember you are trying not to overload yourself with extra responsibilities so set you own terms to what you agree to do or just not do it at all. 
  3. The “I’ll get back to you” NO. Don’t respond immediately to requests for your assistance. Take a step back and give yourself sometime to respond. Tell the other party you’ll think about it and get back to them. You’ll save yourself any future heartache. 
  4. The “I-understand-your-dilemma-but-no” NO. Sometimes someone else’s story may pull on your heartstrings so much until you give in to taking another task on. It’s ok to sympathize, but remember it’s your time and it’s important that you manage it based on what you can actually commit to doing.
  5. The “cut to the chase” NO. In some cases there is just nothing else you can but to stand firm and plain ol’ say no. A gentle but firm “No, I’m sorry I’m not going to be able to” is sufficient.