I recently received an email from an acquaintance asking if he could stay with me while visiting New York. Mind you, this was someone who I wasn't very close to and he has the means to book a hotel. I simply did not feel comfortable having him stay. I had three options: 1. I could say yes because I felt bad saying no and end up feeling miserable for saying yes 2. I could say no and maybe feel bad about saying it. 3. I could say no and not feel bad about saying it. I went with option three.
You might wonder how do you say no and not feel bad about it. To answer that, you must first understand why people feel bad saying no. Saying no may feel aggressive, like you're rejecting the person. Most people do not want to be an aggressor. There's a negative connotation to it. As a result, people usually go the path of least potential conflict and comply with others. If they don't they may feel like the bad guy or girl. They may feel they're letting the person down and feel guilty. Or they may even feel they won't be liked or will be perceived as uncaring and unhelpful.
If people do say no, they usually do it in ineffective ways that come with an excuse. For example, they might say, "I'd like to help but I'm really busy". The problem with this approach is it gives the other person an opportunity to continue to ask. They feel they have an opening. "Since you're busy this week how about next week?"
Here's how you can effectively say no:
- Say it. Don't beat around the bush or offer weak excuses or hem and haw. This only provides an opening for the other person. Don't delay or stall either. Provide a brief explanation if you feel you need to, however, don't feel compelled. The less said the better.
To learn more effective ways to communicate and achieve success check out my book Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days.