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Saying No, Graciously… Tonic for the OverCommitted

My grandmother taught me to say (with a big smile), “Not today but try me tomorrow” when I was turning down an offer.  I thought she was crazy but… she was teaching me to please others.

And so I thought  I needed to say yes in order to be liked. Fortunately, I got over that.

But saying no can be difficult so here are some helpful hints for saying no,

When someone starts talking about a problem and wants you to help, you could say:
“I can understand how that would be hard.”

Then say nothing more—just nod and smile while you assess what you want to do. If you can walk away without accepting any responsibility and let the person feels heard,  you have all my respect. A desire to help, curiosity and wanting to be the hero all kick in for me so I have to be on guard.

How about when you’re asked to start working on a new project, you could say:

“Would you email me the details? Once I receive that, I’ll be able to give you a more definite response.”

Maybe you’ll push the project to someone else, maybe you’ll take it on. You get time to decide on a response. And don’t forget the best ever, all purpose response:

“I’ll have to get back you.”

I have a ‘Git ‘Er Done’ mentality but I want to manage my time so I can enjoy my work and my life.  Got tips for saying no (besides change your personality?)

Photo credit: The 99%  (BTW – an awesome website — check it out!)


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