Saying no to a request can be difficult. Perhaps we don’t want to feel as though we are insulting the person or even just letting them down. Most of us have a desire to please others and to feel as though we are “coming through” for them. And, of course, there are many appropriate times for a “yes” response.
However, when you believe “no” is the appropriate response, you should be able to do it so that you get your point across kindly and politely, and in such a way that the person does not continue to ask. And/or, if they do ask again, you’re able to stay committed to your decision with the result being they discontinue their request.
Declining an offer graciously will allow you to never again get trapped into making a commitment you simply don’t want to make. Or, just saying yes when you’d rather say no. Please, don’t ever confuse being nice (or even, being a “Go-Giver”) with not taking care of yourself and your personal needs. There is nothing righteous about that. However, also know that you can say no graciously, with class, and in a way that the other person cannot possibly be offended.
Let’s use the very generic situation where “someone asks you to do something you simply don’t want to do.” For example, to serve on a committee. When this happens, offer lavish appreciation just for their “thinking” of you like that, decline, then end with more gratitude.
Example: Thank you for your kind offer. While it’s not something I choose to pursue, please know how honored I am to be asked.”
Depending on what is more congruent with your personal style, you might substitute “I’d like” for “I choose” and “grateful” for “honored.” The key is to say it with kindness and gratitude and with absolutely no defensiveness.
Okay, good start, but we’re not through yet. There’s one more very important thing you need to do (actually, not do) for this to work effectively. It is the difference between a good idea and accomplishing your goal.
In the next part, we’ll reveal that “thing.”