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How to Say No to Save your Sanity

It is a common instinct, especially in women, to say yes to as many things as possible. All too often though we say yes to too much and before we know it our schedules are over packed and we have worn ourselves out. It may not be easy to say no, but sometimes you have to if nothing else than for the sake of your sanity. Having trouble saying no? This might help:

Say no in a sugar coated fashion.

In some cases the problem is merely that we don’t know how to politely say no. Instead of simply saying no you could say something like:

“I wish I could, but I just can’t this time.”

“I really appreciate you thinking of me, but I won’t be able to right now.”

“I’m currently unable to, but if anything changes I’ll let you know.”

Say no with a valid excuse.

If you’re being asked to attend an event that you don’t want to attend, won’t benefit you or simply will take more time than you’re willing to give you could say something like:

“I’ll have to decline because I’m booked solid that day.”

“I would love to, but I have to pick up the kids from soccer practice.”

“I have something else I’ve already committed to.”

Offer a no with an alternative.

Many times it feels easier to say no to something if we can offer another solution to the problem. For example:

“I can’t volunteer for this event, but if you need help promoting it I can forward the invite onto my list.”

“I won’t be able to donate to this fundraiser, but perhaps the next one.”

“I don’t think I can take on any more clients at this time, but I would love to refer you to my colleague (insert name here).”

The key points in saying no are to be polite, be firm, answer quickly and form a good response. No one needs to know the specifics of why you are saying no, they just need an answer so they can move on. Just remember, you and your family have to come first and if you are giving too much to the point it’s hurting you or them, it’s okay to say no!

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