25 tips for saying no

Most people, when asked for their time or money, find it difficult to say no, and the quality of their life deteriorates as a result. They become overcommitted, stressed and unhappy with themselves for not having more control over their lives. (I speak from personal experience, and I’ll bet most of you know what I’m talking about.)

To help you out, I’m offering a list of five different website entries that each offer five tips about how to say no. I’ll give you one from each website below, and you can click on each link to see more. Don’t have the time to do all that? Just say no, or no, not right this second.

Here are the five tips:

  1. From Denise Fitzpatrick: When someone invites you to do something or asks you to do something for them, don’t feel pressured to answer immediately. You can simply say “I’ll have to let you know.” This gives you an opportunity to think about it instead of answering on the spot.
  2. From Tim Berry: Reward the idea and suggestion. In business, you often have to say no to ideas, even good ideas, because they won’t work with an overall plan or strategy. You do, however, want to keep good ideas flowing, so say something like, “Even though we can’t move forward with that, I love the creativity and that you made the suggestion, so take somebody out to dinner with the company card.”
  3. From Jana Kemp: Be polite, clear and brief. Lengthy explanations often only provide arguments someone can use to squeeze a ”yes” from you.
  4. From Suzanne Doyle Morris: It’s all in the voice. Keep your tone clear and steady. Avoid becoming high-pitched (often interpreted in women as whining) or raising your voice.
  5. From Elizabeth Juffs: Use the broken record technique, where you just repeat your version of “no” as many times as you need to the other person, whatever their demands or emotional blackmail, until they cave in. (Elizabeth actually offers seven tips, so if you read all five articles, you’ll have 27 in all.)

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