Saying No Without Apologizing Or Feeling Guilty

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Most of you find it hard to say “no,” whether it’s with family members, in your profession, colleagues, relationships, and even friendships. You start to say “no,” yet a “yes” slips out.

Why do you think you feel guilty or bad to say “no?” Are you afraid of what people think of you? Do you think they would consider you as selfish if you say “no”? Fear that they won’t like you anymore? 

Here are ways to say “no” nicely without feeling guilty.

Firstly you have to deal with the guilty thing. Be true to yourself, your priorities, as well as your convictions when you feel guilty for saying “no.” Otherwise, it shows that you don’t have a firm grip on your preferences, opinions, and beliefs.

Know your values and who and what is most important in your life. When asked a favor, do a gut check. If it makes you feel uneasy, check, and see what is more important.

Before you answer, think about it. Weigh your answer with your priorities and your convictions. Don’t be too quick to respond if you feel you are going to say “no.” When you are too quick with your response, you could crush their ego and make it seem like your “no” is more about them and not about their request.

Never tell them that you will get back to them with an answer if you know that your answer is going to be “no.” In other words, don’t put off saying “no!”

Should you considering saying yes, but need to confirm some other arrangements before you answer, let them know when to expect your answer.

Don’t be vague, wimp out, or give mixed signals, with your answer to avoid hurting other people’s feelings. It makes you seem indecisive and raises false hope.

Saying “no” probably makes you nervous. When you are nervous, you are likely to babble. It could make the whole scenario worse as it makes you appear to look guilty.

Should you have a valid reason for not being able to help which won’t hurt their feelings, it’s a good idea to let them know.

When saying “no,” try to start with a compliment that fits the situation. Use your manners and say thank you if it is fitting, as well as to encourage the person. Another way is to change the subject or excuse yourself. Always smile as it shows there are no hard feelings.

There is no need for you to say you are sorry as you haven’t actually offended anyone or made an error, a simple yes or “no” will suffice.

Mean what you say and say what you mean, that shows integrity.

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