Time Management_Learning to Say NO to Others

time management_learning to say no to others



Are you a people-pleaser?

Why is it so hard to say “No” to others when they ask us to go out of our way to help or be of service to them?

Although we should show concern for the feelings of others, we must remind ourselves that there are only so much we can do each day. And OUR TIME IS PRECIOUS.

Unfortunately there are some people who feel entitled to waste our time. If you keep saying “Yes” to them, they WILL continue to take up your time and possibly prevent you from accomplishing the things that actually bring you benefits and personal satisfaction.

Saying “No” is sometimes difficult because buried deep in our subconscious mind are the learned moral values of altruism, our notion of self-sacrifice and putting others before ourselves. This psychological predisposition is often taken advantage of by others.

There is nothing wrong with saying “yes” or desiring to help. But learn to allocate your valuable time to those who really need and deserve it.


3 simple rules to help you say NO

There is no reason to say yes right away. Give yourself time to think it over. Is it something you really want to do? Will it interfere with your other activities? Will you have to give up something? What will you gain in return? Is it worth your time?

2. Be firm when you say NO but do it gracefully
It’s easier to say “maybe” or use other non-committal statements. We hedge on our response to avoid a direct confrontation. This is due to a false sense of guilt and not wanting to hurt the other person’s feeling. But it’s better to be honest and straight forward. Simplify. Don’t leave matters hanging.

3. Set up your boundaries and follow them
Remember the saying “Good fences make good neighbors”. Learning to say “NO” is part of establishing YOUR boundaries and making people aware of what you are willing or unwilling to do.

How people treat you depends on how they perceive you. If you are a push-over or someone who is easily taken advantage of, then don’t be surprise if you find yourself doing tasks you don’t want to do which others should be doing. People will only learn to respect your time if you show them how much you value it yourself.


Here are 10 polite but assertive ways of saying “NO” if you are ever put into a situation that demand it.

1.”I’m sorry, but that’s not a priority for me right now.”

2.”I can’t help you at this time, but I’m available next ___(day,week,month). Would that be alright?”

3.”I have so much on my plate now I’m not sure when I can get to it. But there is someone else who might help you now.”

4.”Before I take this up for you, let me show you some things you can do to help yourself.”

5.”I still have so many commitments to others, it would be unfair to them, and also to you if I took on anything more than I can handle.”

6.”I’m not sure when I can assist you on this matter, but as soon as I am free I will be happy to help you.”

7.”I would like to help you out on this but unfortunately I don’t have the resources available to do the job properly for you.”

8.”I’m sure we’re close enough that when I say “no” you will understand that it is for a good reason.”

9.”I really want to help you, if only I had the time.”

10.”Thank you for thinking of asking me. But, no thanks.”

And don’t forget to be courteous as you assert your rights.


content by Josefina Fong ©2016

Image: Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Time Management_Learning to Say NO to Others”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *