I constantly hear people complain about how overwhelmed they are, how busy they are, and how they have so much to do. We try to be so many things to so many people and do so many things for so many people. Which is a good thing sometimes – it’s great to help others out, especially the people closest to you.
But at a certain point, it can harm ourselves more than it’s even helping others.
We put pressure on ourselves to do things that we don’t want to do, or can’t even do sometimes. But why? Because we want to be a people-pleaser? Because we don’t want to disappoint people or let them down? Or maybe because we don’t know how to say no?
I’m not saying you should be selfish or stop helping people out. I love helping people, trust me. That’s actually why I started this blog in the first place! I’m just saying that when it comes to a point of being overwhelmed, too stressed out, or just having too much on our plates, we need to get our priorities straight. If you can’t do something, say no.
Fun fact: Saying no is something that I’ve always struggled with.
But today I thought I’d share some advice on why it’s okay to say no sometimes and how to say no when you need to!
Why it’s okay to say no when you need to:
- You don’t owe anything to anybody. You shouldn’t feel obligated to do something for someone – especially when you really don’t want to or just plain can’t. Your life is yours – no one else’s.
- You’re not able to say “yes” to things. When you’re constantly filling your schedule and mind with things that you wish you’d said no to, it can become very difficult to make space for the things you want or even need to say yes to.
- If it makes someone dislike you, so be it. A lot of people have trouble saying no because they don’t want to upset someone or make someone think badly of them. If saying no to someone really changes their opinion of you then maybe they weren’t the best person anyways.
- People will have more respect for you. When you’re someone who constantly agrees to do everything every time someone asks you to, you can easily get taken for granted. When you start respecting your time, you’re respecting yourself – and others will respect you more too. Your time is valuable!
- Your happiness is important. It’s vital to put yourself first sometimes. If you’re overwhelmed by too many commitments – especially when they’re unimportant – you’re going to be miserable. Your happiness is important, not only to yourself but to your loved ones as well.
How to say no without feeling guilty:
- Start small if you need to. If you’re a big-time people-pleaser (ahem, like me) and you’re super uncomfortable letting people down, then you can start small. Start saying no to smaller requests. Like almost anything with life, it gets easier the more you do it.
- Take your time. There’s no unwritten law that says we have to answer people immediately. You can take your time, not only to really think about whether or not you want to take on the task but also to prepare yourself to say no. Let the person know you need to check your calendar or think about it first.
- Be brief about it. When you’re saying no, don’t beat around the bush or give some long-winded excuse. First of all, you don’t owe anyone a huge explanation. And second of all, this gives the other person a chance to find a loophole and pressure you if they want to. Be brief and firm with your answer.
- Offer another option. This is my favorite way to say no because I feel like I’m not letting the person down as much. Offer a different solution to their request. Suggest someone else who might like the opportunity. Offer to help with something else. Find a way to say no while still giving the person something.
- Keep with it. Stand your ground and keep saying no when you need to. The more you give in to certain people, the more they’ll ask for. Stick to your guns and don’t let people take advantage of you. Remember, you come first sometimes!
Are you confident saying “no” when you need to? Do you have any advice on how to say no? Let’s chat in the comments!