Saying “no” is hard. Extra hard if you’re saying it to your boss or your puppy-eyed friend.
Saying that you can’t, doesn’t make you a bad person. Yes, it sounds hurtful and displeasing, but sometimes the situation calls for it.
You can’t please everybody. Saying yes all the time can be more hurtful than you think. Like when you said “yes” to your wife and she also said a “yes”.
Saying “no” is an art as some say. Here are polite ways to reject, deject and detest something or someone in certain situations.
1. Just say NO
The simplest and sincerest “no” would be sufficient. Be honest with your feelings. The other person should be able to understand it from the way you say it.
2. Money lending
Situation: A friend asks you if you can lend some money.
Response: “Look pal, I can lend a hand but not money. Let me help you in some other way.”
Lending money to your friends can create a rift in your relationship if proper payment is not made. As much as possible, avoid lending money. Help your friend in some other way.
3. Suggest an alternative
Situation: Someone invites you for dinner in a restaurant where the food served gave your tongue a bad experience. Your friend happens to really love the food there unlike you.
Response: “That’s an interesting restaurant. I’ve already tried the food there but right now I want to experience something different. Why don’t we try something new this time? I have another restaurant in mind that’ll interest you.”
You didn’t disclose that you had a bad experience there. You also saved your friend from getting discouraged to eat there.
Suggest more choices if you don’t want the one provided. You will not enjoy something that was forced on you and it’s your fault for not providing other options.
4. Buy more time
Situation: A person invites you to a party that you’re still unsure of accepting. Or you’re not available at the moment.
Response: “Thanks for the invitation, but I don’t really have the time to spare right now. How about some other time?”
You show you’re interested in the invitation but just don’t have time for it at the moment. Instead of closing future chances of being invited, you just take a pass this time.
5. Preemptive strike
Situation: You already have your organizer full of meetings and deadlines. You’re about to attend a meeting with chances that you’ll be given another task to add to your planner.
Response: “Okay, guys. Let me tell you first that my hands are already full and I really won’t be able to handle more.”
This one puts down people’s chance to commit you to something before they even think about it. You don’t want to disappoint them so you just state clearly that you can’t take in any more work at the moment.
6. Priorities first
Situation: Your hands are already full and yet your boss wants to add more to the pile.
Response: “I’m busy working on this current project you gave me last month. If I decide to accept another one, I will need to shift my full attention.”
Be honest to your boss. If you really can’t handle any more work, then just say it.
Make him/her consider that too much work can diminish your productivity and work quality.
Show him that you can only do so much with two hands.
7. Stepping down
Situation: You are asked, again, to be the leader or organizer of an activity.
Response: “ I’ve been doing this for years and I want to give others the chance to experience handling this event. I know I’m not the only one who’s skilled to do so.”
You escaped the burden of taking up an unwanted work and you gained points for being humble and considerate to others.
Whether you really are experiencing the situations aforementioned, or just plainly don’t want something, knowing how to handle circumstances where you should say “no” takes time and practice.