Please understand that saying no isn't about rejecting the person making the request; it's about allowing you to make an authentic choice and focusing on what you need to get done.
Here are four ways on how to get to NO and make a choice with ease:
1. Ask Questions. Sometimes we say yes and then later think of all the questions we should have asked before committing. The fundamental question that you should always ask is information on the timeline. It's critical. Don't say yes without knowing the due date. Other questions consist of getting all the information you need to make an informed choice. If you don't want to engage after getting all the information you need, go to #4 below.
2. Consider. Maybe you need some time to think about the request or check your schedule or confer with your mate or team or do some research. It's not a brush-off to postpone your answer to the request. Give the person making the request a time by which you will get back to them. Then get back to them whether it's yes or no. Be known as someone who keeps their word. Then if you say no, the person knows you're out, and they can make requests of someone else.
3. Negotiate. I suggest you get good at negotiation and see it as a natural response to the word no! Any negotiation starts with a NO! Instead of groaning when someone starts a negotiation, be curious about what they're going to offer next. Don't worry! You can always say no after listening to someone's pitch. Now, of course, you can always make a counteroffer yourself. You say no to someone's original request and then make a request in line with what you can do. Negotiation is not about giving in. It's an active exchange that brings both parties to a beneficial agreement.
4. No, thank you. I say thank you because I know how hard it is for some people to make a request. Saying thank you honors the person. Sometimes when you say no thank you, the other person might say, "Why not?" Please resist the urge to answer. As discussed in #3, people naturally overcome objections, and you probably do too when someone says no to you. Don't be put off by someone asking why not. You'll hear all the reasons you should say yes. But that shouldn't sway you to say yes to something you don't want to do or can't fulfill. No is a legitimate response to a request regardless of who's asking. Review tip #3 if you're wavering between saying yes or no to make sure you're responding genuinely. No thank you is a complete sentence. No other explanation is required.
When you say yes, it's a promise. You're committing your attention, time, resources, and energy. No is also a promise. You're committing not to do something now, saving you time, resources, and energy for what you want to do or are already committed to doing.
So say no without feeling guilty, and you'll be able to say yes without remorse.
If it makes it easier, you can also respond by saying, "No thank you, and I love you!" so you remind people that you're not rejecting them, just their request. Or give them this article to read.
My love goes with you.
Paulette Sun Davis