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When someone asks for your help, it’s hard to say no sometimes. You may feel obligated or perhaps you simply want to be a nice person and help your friends and co-workers. The problem is that if you don’t say no once in awhile, you end up with way more to do than any one person should have to deal with.
- Don’t feel guilty for saying no. You don’t have anything to feel guilty about. You can explain that you don’t have the extra time for another project or that you’re not available to help with whatever is needed but don’t apologize for saying no. That is your right and you need to exercise it sometimes to prevent being taken advantage of by others.
- Don’t give an immediate answer. Instead of saying yes or no on the spot, tell the person you need some time to think about their request and that you’ll get back with them soon. Take your time, think about it and if it’s not practical for you to say yes, you can say no with an explanation as to why you must decline the request.
- Think about what saying yes means for you. If it means giving up time with your kids or if it prevents you from taking care of your own family’s needs, it’s easier to say no.
- Remind yourself that your needs are important, too. It’s understandable to want to help your friends and family whenever possible but it can’t be at the expense of your own health. Making too many commitments can overload you physically and mentally. You can’t help anyone if you’re overwhelmed and pulled in too many directions.
Use these tips the next time your boss or coworkers try to add to your already overflowing workload or when a friend asks you to take on a project for them. It’s great to help others and you should every chance you get but not if they’re taking advantage of you. Your life, wants and needs are just as important as theirs and should never be ignored.