Not that we are life coaches, but we like to share our personal psychological theories every now and then. Today the topic is: how to say no without feeling guilty?

How many times did someone ask you to do something you totally didn’t want to do, but you ended up doing it anyway? Like, for example, your colleague asking you to finish a work at his/her place, your boyfriend asking you to go to a restaurant you actually didn’t like, your girlfriends asking you to join them for a night out when you felt like staying on the couch all night long?

I guess it happened to all of us, at least once or twice in a lifetime.
To save yourself and your inner balance, try to follow these rules:

  • Every time someone asks you to do something, take your time to answer.
  • If the question requires an immediate response, then do a quick pros and cons list in your mind. If you can take more time to answer, then analyze deeply all the aspects. Normally, the timing depends on the kind of thing you are asked to do.
  • Focus on the person that is asking this to you: is he/she a very important person in your life or is he/she a kind of nobody for you?
  • Don’t over explain your reasons: sometimes a polite and kind “no” is more than sufficient.
  • Don’t be rude.
  • Don’t be afraid to disappoint people. If you said no for a valid reason and this person is reasonable and intelligent, it won’t be a problem.
  • Don’t surrender! If you are strongly persuaded that you should say no, don’t listen to the insistent requests that this person makes to you.
  • Move on. Do not stress yourself thinking and thinking again if you were right to say no.

What do you think? Are you a proud no sayer or not yet? Let us know in the comments below.

Illustration Sara Ottavia Carolei

One thought on “How to say no without feeling guilty

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