Six Ways to Say No to Everything That Steals Your Joy
It’s time to start saying no to everything that steals your joy. I know I know that is easier said than done. Why is such a small word so hard to say?
This weekend I started listening to the audio book The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving A F*ck. I’ll probably write an entire blog post on the book but, I will share now that the author, Sarah Knight, has a theory about why saying No is so hard. Here theory is that we don’t want to say know because we 1. don’t want to be a bad person or 2. we don’t want other people to think we are a bad person.
I think Ms. Knight is spot on. We don’t want to be a bad person or have others think we are because we let them down. But the thing is:
1. we are not responsible for other people’s opinions of us,
2. we have to know for ourselves that we are not bad people,
3. we have to say no sometimes so that we have the time, space, finances, etc. to do the things we need to do and the things that give us joy.
I was reminded of this during a productivity training I attended yesterday. We are not as productive as we need to be when our schedules are full of things that don’t need to be there. Especially things that steal our Joy.
Lucky for me between the audio book and the productivity training I got some solid examples of ways to say No. I know that saying No will get easier with practice but it is super helpful to me to have language for saying No. So I sat and tired to think up a bunch of different ways to say No.
Here is what I came up with:
- No – No is a complete sentence.
- No thank you – The thank you softens the no a little. This is good for when you don’t want to sound harsh but you also don’t want to give an explanation
- I cannot attend but thank you for the invitation and including me. – I like this one for event and outings. You are saying no but you are also expressing gratitude. I like to say no like this when I want the person to continue to invite me to things despite saying no to the current invitation.
- I can’t fit that into my schedule. It sounds great though. I Hope it goes well. – This is a good one for when you want to do something but you legit don’t have time. Instead of over committing say no. Acknowledging that that the opportunity sounds great and wishing the person well shows that you care about what the person is doing despite the fact that you have to decline.
- Unfortunately I can’t do that right now. However I can do…. – This was a great idea that came up in the training. Sometimes we want to help someone but we honestly can not do what they are asking. Instead of just saying No you can say no and give them an alternative. Give them another option of how you can help them on your own terms.
- I am really not in to… but I wish you great success. – This is a good way to say no when you no longer want to be invited to take part in a certain activity or event. You are giving enough of an explanation so that the person will know not to invite you again. However you are still wishing them success and showing that you care about them despite your lack of interest in whatever they are asking you to do. I actually used this one recently. I was invited to a party featuring a psychic/fortune teller. Participating in something like that does not align with my spiritual beliefs. But the person who invited me is a good friend so I did not want to be cold or distant or too harsh with my response. I said. No, I am not into psychics. I will find out my future as it happens. Have a fun time at your party. No feelings were hurt and I doubt she will invite me to a fortune teller party again.