Learning to say No

As important as it is to say ‘Yes’ to new opportunities and adventures it is equally important to learn to say ‘No’.

However this is easier said than done sometimes. There have been many times in my life that I have agreed to do something that I really haven’t had the time or even the desire to do but felt that I couldn’t say ‘No’. There is always an excuse that accompanies this - ‘I couldn’t say no because they’re really overwhelmed right now / they have no-one else to help them / they put me on the spot’ etc.

The stress and dread that this would sometimes cause me was ridiculous and eventually I made the decision to start saying ‘No’. Now, obviously I didn’t literally just say ‘No’ as tempting as it was to just throw my head back, stomp my feet and scream it.

Instead it’s about developing ways that you feel comfortable saying ‘No’. For example, when asked to do a favour for a friend or work colleague - “I’m sorry, I simply haven’t got time to fit that in right now” or if you’re invited to something that you really don’t want to attend - “Thank you very much for the invite but I won’t be able to make it”.

Try to avoid making excuses or worse making them up. I have been guilty of this in the past and I’m sure they know that I’m not being honest which really is much worse than just telling them I didn't want to go in the first place.

Like anything, the more you do it, the easier it becomes and I think you will be surprised how much better you feel for simply saying “No”.



Holly Martin