Not Easy But Important

When you have an inability to say ‘no’ to family, friends, or colleagues, you give them your valuable time and energy. This can leave you drained and depleted.

When it's time to say no, say so. How do you do that? With these simple, three steps. Let’s use the scenario of someone wanting you to help them move:

  1. Open with something positive, like, “I’m so glad you’re moving, I know you’ve been wanting to move for a long time.”

  2. Then, say, “Unfortunately, I’m unavailable to help you because I’ve already have plans.”

  3. Finish with, “Hope your move goes well, and let me know if you need any boxes. I’ve got tons I can give you.”

That sounds easy, but that’s because I’ve taught that script a bazillion times. The thing to remember is this: just because you’re telling someone ‘no’, doesn’t mean you have to feel bad about it. In other words, start with a positive. Also, giving a because works wonders every time.

And, if your because is private information — like you’re unavailable because you’re going to counseling to repair your marriage — you don’t disclose you’re going to counseling to repair you marriage. You’re because is worded in such a way that simply tells the other person that you already have something planned.

Now, end on a positive. Why not end on a positive? Just because (in this case) you can’t help your friend move, doesn’t mean you’re not a good friend.

The script is good, but you’ve got to practice it. Especially if you have people who take advantage of you just because — they know — you can’t say ‘no’.

If you need anything, just email me. I’m always here to help.