How do you stop saying yes when you honestly just want to say no?
Well, it’s not easy. I used to have a lot of trouble with it.
And so I’d become frustrated and angry with myself and others who had asked me about a favor or help.
While at the same time working on someone else’s goals instead of my own and wasting too much time and energy on that.
Things simply had to change.
So I set out a handful of years ago to learn how to become better at saying no.
Here’s 10 of the best tips, habits and strategies I learned.
1. First, keep in mind why you’re saying no.
When you are about to say no then remember why you are doing it.
Focus on the positive things it will open up in your life such as more time for your family, for your writing or other hobby or simply for relaxing so your stress levels will go down.
Because you need to say no to things to be able to say yes to the things you want out of your life (there isn’t enough time and more importantly energy to do it all).
This positive motivation will help you to go through with your decision even if it feels tough.
One simple way to keep your focus on what’s important in your life both when you need to say no and to just stay on track and not get distracted in your daily life is to ask yourself this:
What are the top 3-5 priorities in my life right now?
It could be spending more quality time with your daughter, your photography hobby, reducing your debt and so on.
Write those top 3-5 priorities down on a post it-note or as a daily reminder in your smart phone (I use the Google Keep app for the reminders on my phone).
This will keep your attention consistently on what truly matters to you.
2. Kindly disarm and then state your need.
It becomes easier for people to accept your no if you kindly disarm them first. You could for example do that by saying that you are flattered and that you appreciate the kind offer.
And be honest about whatever you say.
Then you can, for instance, add that you do not have the time for accepting and doing what they want.
3. Add how you feel about it.
Some pushy people might want to overcome your objections and sell you something or convince you to do something even if you first say no with a valid reason.
Then try this: state how you feel as a reason for saying no.
For example say that you do not feel that this offer is a good fit for your life right now. Or that you feel overwhelmed or your plate is already more than full and so you cannot do whatever they want.
Or that you feel you truly…