Guilt Free Ways to Say No

4 Apr, 2018 Self Improvement

Are you a people pleaser?

At one point or another, we’ve all been there. A friend asks for a favor and even though you really don’t have the time, you say yes.

A colleague asks you to pick up some slack at work and even though you’re already spread really thin, you take on the extra work.

In the moment, it doesn’t seem like a big deal.

After all, you want to help and support those you care about. But too often we put ourselves and our needs on the back burner in favor of others.

That’s okay to do every now and again, but compounded over time and those instances can be taxing on our soul and spirit.

Saying “no” doesn’t make you a bad, selfish, self-centered or unkind person. Knowing when to draw the line and when to put yourself first is necessary.

If you can’t help yourself, you will never be able to successfully help others.

The biggest misconception about saying no? There is no “kind way” to do it. But it’s all about your approach, your intentions and your honesty.

Whether it’s a friend, colleague, family member or even your spouse, here are guilt-free strategies for saying “no”:


When It Comes to Your Money…

When it comes to family and friends, money can be a tricky topic. Many times, lending money instantly complicates a relationship, and if things go south, the damage may be irreversible.


Set a hard and fast rule.

For example, as a rule, you never lend money to friends. It doesn’t matter how much or how fast they can repay you, it’s just not something you’re comfortable with.

If a friend asks, just be honest. Don’t waffle on the idea, don’t say “I’ll think about it,” when you already know you’re not comfortable with the idea.

You can be firm without being unkind. If lending money to friends is something you know you’re not comfortable with, don’t bend your own rule. Once you do, you set yourself for the potential to run into the situation again and again.


Don’t feel guilty.

You are not obligated to anyone when it comes to lending money. If someone tries to make you feel guilty because you won’t lend them the dough they need, you might reconsider the genuineness of that relationship.

Chances are, the guilt you feel is self-created. Most people will understand and not hold it against you. Get out of your own head and trust your instinct and the decisions you make.


Tell them why your answer is “no.”

While you don’t have to give a reason, you might want to in the case of a good friend or loved one. Maybe you’re saving for a new car, your kids, a family vacation or something else.

If you feel like sharing that information, it might relieve some guilt, if you have it.


When It Comes to Your Time…

Put your personal life first.

In business, I get asked for a lot of favors. Often times, I’m happy to accommodate because I know it will be worth it! Other times, I simply don’t have the time.

For example, this summer I’m not hosting my “Book Bound Workshop” in Dallas because my oldest son is graduating from high school. I simply don’t have the time to plan for both events. And my family will always come first.

There will always be another “Book Bound”, but my son’s last summer at home before college is a once in a lifetime.


Don’t let yourself get burned out.

Even when I know I could feasibly do something, I have to say no. Because otherwise, I will completely burn out.

Your time and energy are finite resources, and they don’t need to be maxed out at every opportunity. Avoid situations of burnout by choosing only the events, opportunities, parties and so on that you truly want to be a part of, not the ones out of obligation.


When’s the last time you had to say “no” to someone?

Tell us how you cope with people pleasing habits and how you’ve learned to manage your time. We love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Guilt Free Ways to Say No
Do you say “yes” to every request, and too often? Be careful: this will lead to burn out! Here are some ways to say “no” to too much, especially if you are a people pleaser.

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