Learn to say no...without feeling guilty

2010-02-02 13:00
Meagan Karstens
Sure, saying ‘yes’ to things is easier, but if you continue being a soft touch, in the long run you’ll realise what a burden it places on you emotionally.

Repeat after me: “I’m sorry, I can't do this right now.”

Too hard?

Adrienne Moolman, a life coach and certified organiser at virtual clinic Get Organised says many of us are conditioned to believe that saying no implies incompetence.

“What is it,” asks Moolman, “about the short two letter word NO that makes many of us scurry in the opposite direction? Is it that we feel we always have to be on top of our game?  Is it that we are approval-junkies? Or is it that we don’t want to disappoint?”
Nodding in agreement? Thought as much.

But let’s be honest. Do you take on more responsibilities than you can truly handle? Do you feel as though it’s always just expected of you to be willing – or able – when a need arises?  With your busy schedule, is time often your greatest enemy?

Learning to say no not only relieves undue stress, but the fact that you will have more time and energy for other , more important things – like bonding with your loved ones - may bestow priceless rewards that no obligation or chore could ever match.

Here are a few ways of saying no, by Ramona Creel of Online Organizing

1.    I have another commitment.
2.    I am not comfortable with that.
3.    I need to focus more on my personal life.
4.    I need to focus on my career right now.
5.    I need some free time for myself.
6.    I would rather decline than do a mediocre job.
7.    This is really not my strong suit.
8.    I do not enjoy that kind of work.
9.    I am not qualified to do the job.
10.    Something has come up that needs my urgent attention.




  • Taxi - 2010-01-15 09:09

    So true! At my son's school, it is just expected of me to be a taxi because I don't work. I have other responsibilities too, and the other parents don't seem to care.

  • Ariane - 2010-01-15 14:09

    I know how you feel. For years I was just expected to be the first one in and the last one to leave simply because I lived close to my office. I would suggest a nominal fee to the parents that expect this from you. They will either pay up or shut up.

  • SA Civil & Anti Corrosion Specialists - 2010-01-16 23:55

    People like free rides.. LOL

  • Ann - 2010-01-18 11:06

    As a full time shift worker at a hospital, somehow I feel I should be available to all & sundry in my "free" time. I have no more free time than the next person. "No" is such a difficult word to get across!

  • merle - 2010-01-18 11:39

    i find it very difficult to say no. I have a job at my husbands business which allows flexi hrs but have to go to shops, help with bathing and feeding grandchildren (twins) then have to prepare meals for the parents of the kids as well as us , so at the end of the day am cooking for 5 adults and 3 children. Plus i still have to have a smile all the time.Dont forget household chores as well.

  • dingbat - 2010-01-18 14:23

    i do not even know you. I dont care if you have twins or triplets. You seem to have a very lazy family. Why dont you all share the chores. Why are you cooking for 5 adults. I am sure they are not retards. Why do you have to smile all the time, it is your own fault.

  • Talana - 2010-01-18 15:58

    When it comes to all aspects of my life, I find it incredibly hard to say no. Sometimes it's just easier to say yes then to put up with the whinging and disappointment.

  • Bev - 2010-01-20 12:45

    Merle stop being a doormat. I have a fulltime job. After work I collect my grandchildren from creche until their parents get home, they live with us. But then everyone pitches in making meals, doing dishes, cleaning house etc. I suspect you are a control freak. Let go and delegate! you will have more free time to enjoy your life and your family.

  • Jeanine - 2010-01-21 13:11

    I love the articles!!

  • jean - 2010-01-22 10:45

    Did you spell no "know" on purpose?

  • pages:
  • 1