I can remember how torturous declining invitations, or saying no to something at work used to feel. Being the massichist that I am, not only would I avoid saying no until the last possible moment , but I would also manage to annoy the people around me waiting for an answer. I’d come up with these completely overexplained answers that were paragraphs long.
What was wrong with me? I was completely afraid to disappoint people. I hated letting people down. I’ve learned through the years though, that everything has a price. If I wanted a life full of things I love doing: drawing, learning, reading, family then that would mean I have to say no to the other things that aren’t what I love. That’s the cost. Once I realized this, I knew I’d have to learn to say no, in a way that was more honest and authentic to me.
I started studying the women in my circles who I found to be really authentic, and who I liked. How did they say no? I’ve found they key is to be honest, but in a kind way. Keep it short and simple.
Here are a few of my go-to ways of saying no:
1. Thanks so much for the invitation! Sadly, I’ve got a commitment. (If you want to join next time, you can throw something in about how you’d love to join next time) (Notice I don’t explain myself here. I just have a commitment. The end.)
2. Oh darn! I have a conflict! I’m sorry! How about xxxx instead? (Sometimes I offer up a date/time that might work better as an alternative)
3. Apologies, I can’t make it, hope you have fun!
Obviously, you can throw in a short explanation with any of these, but I’d ask: why? What would happen if you didn’t explain? I like the idea of people just having other commitments, the end.
If you’re a people pleaser, and no is something you struggle with – I really hope you’ll try saying no to something this week, so that you can say yes to something you love instead.