How to Say No to Other People’s Requests and Not Feel Guilty


Do you feel overwhelmed by requests from others and you cannot say NO?

If you accept their requests, you might end up doing a lot of things you don’t enjoy, and which are not important to you.

That’s when it’s time to say NO. When it comes to other people’s requests, the sooner you say No, the better it is.

It may feel like everyone is clamoring for your attention, trying to delegate to you more work, persuading you to do something, or trying to sell you a product you don’t want.

Saying NO may seem like a hard task. But practice makes perfect!

It is your time, your energy, and your money. So you have the right to say No when that’s the right thing to do. Don’t feel uncomfortable about that.

As you learn how to say NO, people will begin asking you with less frequency to do things you do not want to do.

Now, take a few deep breaths and follow these steps on how to say NO without feeling guilty.

What to Say When You Are Asked to Do Something You Don’t Want to Do

There are a few things you can say to people who ask you to do something which you do not want to do.

First, ask yourself if you have time for this. Even if you have the time physically, you may not have time for it mentally. Be honest with yourself.

If you cannot answer yes to this question, you need to say NO.

Secondly, ask the person why they think you can help them with this. You may have an idea of what they are asking for, but there may be a different reason behind it.

Helping people is great, but allowing them to manipulate you and take away your time is not.

If someone asks you to do something that doesn’t make sense, refuse to do it.

How to Explain Why You Can’t Do What’s Being Asked

Let me first say that you owe no explanation to anyone.

However, it might be nicer to be polite and give an explanation.

If someone asks you to do something, but you can’t do it because it conflicts with your ethics, you can explain this to the person.

It’s important to note that you don’t need to justify yourself.

You don’t need to say, “Yes, but…” You simply need to explain that this action does not align with your values, morals, or principles.

You can do this in a few ways:

  • ” Simply explain that you cannot do this.
  • ” You can simply say that you need to decline it.
  • ” You can simply say “I’m sorry, but I cannot do that.”

How To Say No, When Someone Requests You Something to Do

Sometimes, you need to turn down requests you don’t want to do. There are a few things you can do when you receive these types of requests.

If someone invites you to dinner, a movie, or a party, and if you have a lot going on, or if you’re extremely busy, you might want to decline the invitation. You can say that you have a lot going on and aren’t able to find the time for this just now.

If someone asks you to do something at work which you don’t have the time to do, you should explain to the person why you don’t want to do it.

Always be polite, but also firm when saying No. This can be with family, friends, colleagues, or salespeople.

Simply explain that you can’t do it or don’t want to do it. Don’t apologize or say too many words.

How To Say No, Without Feeling Guilty

Now that you know how to say no to people’s requests, you must also learn how to do it without feeling guilty.

When someone asks you to do something, thank them graciously, but explain that you do not have time and that you cannot do it.

You can also point them to someone who can help them.

If someone requests you something that doesn’t make sense, explain to them why they shouldn’t do what they want to do.

Always decline requests politely. You can also explain to them why you don’t want to do it.

There is no need to feel guilty for saying NO. Many times, it is the right thing to say.

  • Sometimes, saying NO means not giving in to manipulations.
  • Sometimes you just waste your efforts if you say YES.
  • At times, accepting other people’s requests might involve wasting your money.
  • Saying Yes, when you mean NO, can create stress.
  • If a salesperson is persuading you to buy something you don’t want or don’t need, it’s the right thing to say NO.
  • If you always say yes, people might start to exploit you.

In all these situations guilt is out of place. If you accept the request, you might hurt yourself.

Say NO with Grace, Politeness, and Firmness

Taking the time to learn how to say no to people’s requests is one of the most important things you can do for your happiness.

When you don’t have the time, the request does not make sense, or you simply don’t want to do it, a simple NO would be in place. However, say NO with grace, politeness, and firmness.

Don’t let it turn into an argument. Express inner strength when saying No, so that the other person won’t continue trying to persuade you.

If you can learn this skill, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed, resentful, and upset.

It might be difficult to say NO the first few times, but gradually, you will gather enough inner strength and firmness to say the word NO.

I am not telling you to say NO to every request. Some are legitimate and in place. Use your common sense.

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