How to Say No to Others’ Requests
Does this describe you? Others are used to you saying yes to everything they want you to do. You feel you don’t want to do it and you ache inside every time you say yes. You want to shout, “No, no, no!” But you say yes with a smile on your face anyway, feeling angry at yourself and them too.
But, of course, you never let them know your true feelings.
As a person with healthy self-esteem, you need to understand that your own wants and needs are just as important as anyone else’s. Of course, there are situations, like having a sick relative, in which this principle may need to be adjusted. But generally, you should respect your own wants and needs first.
So if someone makes a request of you, consider the request, and if you truly want to do it, then respond, “Yes, I’d be happy to.” But don’t say yes just to please the other person or to keep her from getting angry at you.
If you don’t want to do as others ask, tell them so. You can do this in several ways. You can give them a detailed reason: “I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to go shopping with you on Wednesday because I’m going to my son’s play then.”
If you feel the person will argue with you about your plans and try to talk you out of them, you can be vague. “I’m sorry, but I have other plans that day.” Even if you don’t have plans and you just don’t want to go, you have plans to be by yourself or with your family.
If the other person demands to know each and every thing you’ll be doing to determine whether or not you’ll have time to go shopping, don’t provide any details at all. Say, “I’m busy that day” the first time, then “I have plans, so I won’t be able to make it” the second time, and then “I have other commitments that day” the third time.