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5 Ways to Say "No" Effectively Without Feeling Guilty

5 Ways to Say "No" Effectively Without Feeling Guilty

S. Shanthi
"No", the smallest word in English dictionary, is one of the most difficult words to be used. Why is it so hard to say "no", even when you know that it is the right thing to do? Highly successful people have always emphasized the importance of saying "no" at the right time. You have also heard it a zillion times from family and friends, still saying "no" feels easier said than done.

It is mainly because when you say "no" you feel awful about coming across as someone rude. You may feel like you are letting the other person down. There is a negative connotation to saying "no" and that leads to guilt. However, it is important to master the art of saying "no" effectively. Here are few tips.

Follow the 24-hour pause technique
When you are asked for a favor, don't commit immediately. Give yourself 24 hours time. Say, "Thanks for the offer. Let me get back to you on that in a day's time." Think about it. Is it something worth saying yes? If it is not, then go ahead and say that you cannot do it right now. This trick can work both in personal and professional set up.

Don't beat around the bush
If you have decided to say "no", go ahead and do it. Don't look for lame excuses. Keep it short and simple. The more you talk the more you give the other person a chance to talk you through it again. Just a small explanation will do.

Put the question back to the person
Tell the person directly that you don't have the time or interest to do it. After that, ask the person a way out of it. In most cases, he or she will not come back to you with a solution.

Don't apologize
Most people commit this mistake while saying "no". They think that it is more polite . However, never apologize. By apologizing, you will not come across as someone polite. You will only come across as someone weak. You don't need to be apologetic in your approach. It is not your fault. You are only guarding your time.

Convey that it's not the person, it is you
While you don't have to apologetic, you say that the project or proposal is great. But you cannot be part of it. You can complement the idea and say that you are not the right fit. However, there is a catch. Say it only when it is true. If you are not, the other person will sense your insincerity and you will come across as someone mean.

(Also read: Stuck in the FoMO cycle? Practice Mindfulness to Deal With It)

(Image Credit: Thinkstock)

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