Health & Medical Self-Improvement

How To Say No Without Feeling Guilty

We have all done it. Someone has asked you to do something, inside you are screaming NOOOOOOOOO, I cant, I dont want to, I have other things to do but you simply say Of course, no problem
Then curse yourself for not saying no. Truth is, it isnt always that easy to say no - we feel under pressure, like we would let people down, as if it would make us a horrible person, so we say yes. This knocks our self confidence as we feel taken advantage of, weak for not saying what we mean, and more stressed because now there is even more to fit into our already packed day.
So how can we say no, not offend the other person AND feel good?
If you are comfortable, simply say no directly. You can add an apology if you like but keep it brief. Im sorry, that wont fit into my schedule. Avoid trying to explain or justify yourself, be firm but pleasant and dont allow any hesitancy in your voice.
It is not that easy when you are on the spot, and in some cases you may need to defer your answer. Ill call you later and let you know, or I will need to check the work diary before I commit. This means you dont have to say no instantly and directly and can plan your refusal in your own time.
Think of the benefits of saying no. It may feel a little uncomfortable at the time, but saying no can bring huge benefits: You may have more time to yourself, be able to focus more thoroughly on the tasks you have said yes to and feel less stressed. It will also boost your self confidence as you are being assertive. Make a list of things you will be able to achieve and gain by saying no and remember these when the next request comes.
Never feel guilty. You cannot help everyone that asks and still look after yourself properly. Pick and choose your tasks and commit to doing these with 100% effort and attention. Then when you have another request, you can feel confident saying no as you wont be able to give the time and attention deserved.
If you still feel bad, offer to find someone who can help (as long as this wont take longer than the request itself!!) Sorry I cant pick your kids up today, but Ill ask Annie if she can do it. They get their request fulfilled, you can feel great as you have helped, but still said no.
Defer the request: I would love to help on the project but my diary is packed this month, can I help next month? Again, make sure you really do want to help next month and you are not just being polite!
Remember, saying no is sometimes essential. Building your confidence will help you to do this with ease and feel good about it. For more information and a complimentary workbook to help improve your confidence instantly and permanently, please visit

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