Magnet by Allison Strine
It's so easy to overcommit — to say "yes" to things that don't help us move to the life we really want. If you could use some encouragement on how to say "no" when it's appropriate, listen to some of these experts. (Go read the full posts; I'm just including short excerpts here.)
1. Lisa Barone summarized the problem in a tweet:
No. No. No. No. See, that's not so hard? Why can't I learn to say that more often?And here's another tweet from Lisa:
If the answer isn't "OMG, yes!" it has to be "no." Time constraints make it so.2. Chris Brogan tells us to be clear and polite.
Thank you for thinking of me. I’m going to have to pass. My workload and priorities are such that I can’t add this project to my schedule.And here's more Chris:
From now on, I resolve to say no faster. I will say no with grace and poise and kindness, but I will say no.3. Chris pointed me to Dharmesh Shah, who has a great title on his post:
Dear Friend: Sorry. My heart says yes, but my schedule says no.4. Fellow organizer Monica Ricci provides five ways to say no, including this short and simple one:
Thank you for asking, but I'm going to pass.5. Here's Patrick Rhone, in his book entitled Enough:
I think saying no is far too often misunderstood and misrepresented. I think it automatically puts one on the defensive, as if we must explain our reasons why. While its very definition may be negative, in practice it is often quite positive. I think we need to remove the wholly negative stigma from the idea of saying no. ...6. Patrick pointed me to Derek Sivers, who tells us:
In fact, when it comes to parting with your time, attention, or money, no should be your default answer. ...
If you follow this rule, the things you do say yes to will be the things you are most excited about. You will be free to give these things much more time and energy because the yes things will be the things that really matter.
Those of you who often over-commit or feel too scattered may appreciate a new philosophy I'm trying: If I'm not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, then say no.7. Adam Dachis of Lifehacker wrote a long post on how to say no, including these bits:
If you're reading this post you probably have a problem saying no — the same problem I used to have until I learned how wonderful not helping people can be. But in all seriousness, saying no is about respecting your own time and making sure you're not spreading yourself too thin. ...8. And when it comes to saying no, I always like to give the last word to Miss Manners:
There's one more thing you should always remember: don't remove "yes" from your vocabulary.
Rather than give reasons for declining, which, as you know, will be countered, just keep restating your inability to accept: “You are so kind to ask me, but I’m so sorry, I can’t.”
“I’m afraid I’m busy then.”
What are you doing?
“I have other commitments.”
What are they?
“Other commitments. You are so kind to ask me, but ...”
Miss Manners: How to Say No
The Importance of Saying No: Two Perspectives
Yet Again: Learning to Say No