If you’re the kind of person who is always thinking of ways to please others, it can sometimes be very difficult to hold space for yourself. An important part of being a healthy, assertive person can take some practice, but it’s an important thing to learn that can save you a lot of headaches, but what if you really don’t know how to say no? For some people, thinking about that kind of confrontation can make a person very uneasy. If this is a problem for you as well, then you will be happy to see that there are plenty of polite ways to turn people down.
Don’t Allow Relationships to Control You
When it’s important to say no, you should say no. Letting people push you into bad situations just because of who they are to you is never good, and a decision to do so could do potentially lasting harm. Every move you make with another person is setting a precedent for both of you. If you set proper boundaries now, then later on you can be more confident that you will be able to gauge their level of urgency.
Refer to Your Calendar
Another way to bow out of a request is to let them know that you will consider it if your schedule allows it. This gives you the ability to say a soft no, but still have the ability to change your mind later. That means that you now have control over whether or not they are likely to ask that sort of request again in the future without making it difficult. If you know it’s a hard no, then you can simply contact them and let them know that you won’t be able when the request is less fresh.
Let Your Work Keep You Busy
If you feel like you aren’t being a good friend and you’re still feeling sort of guilty, then you can actually fill your time with the things that you need to get done. Devote time to making sure that you have a more secure future, and that tasks are being taken off of your list. This will lower your stress level and give you some peace.
Suggest Another Capable Person
If you really feel comfortable, try to find another person to do the request instead. This can be especially useful when it comes to requests related to your business and skilled work. If someone wants you to do a job for free or at a reduced price, referring another capable person lets your friend know that they can get the skilled work elsewhere, and this also gives them a chance to see the value of your expertise.
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