The feeling you get when someone asks you to do something you just don’t want to do is one you hate; but you just cannot say no. Saying no is, in fact, an art. For some reason, some of us really cannot say no without feeling guilty, feeling horrible, and eventually caving. We just cannot do it. Other people, however, seem to have no problem saying no. What’s the art of saying no? Practice.
Give a Reason
If you really do not want to do something, cite a prior engagement. If you aren’t good at making things up on the spot, keep an engagement in your mind for use. It won’t sound like you’re making things up, but it won’t be a huge lie. For example, say that you have a family dinner or a hair appointment or something else that’s easy to say and even easier to remember.
Sometimes it comes across really obvious that you’re lying. It is, after all, always best to simply be honest about it. If it makes you feel bad, you have to live with that. Saying no is always more acceptable and easier to deal with when you say it up front and be honest about it.
Say it Right Away
There’s nothing worse than saying yes and then changing your mind at the last minute and saying no. If you know you don’t want to do something, be upfront about it. It’s a lot easier to say no right away than it is to come up with a reason later on why you cannot commit or attend or perform a function. It’s also not fun to say yes as an automatic response and then have to live with yourself. It can make you quite angry to realize you don’t have the ability to say no. Practice. You’ll feel much better about yourself.