How to say NO while not feeling guilt

Written by on June 14, 2012 in Technology - No comments | Print this page

Sometimes saying No can seem impossible

Saying Yes to everything can actually lead to doing nothing

Many of us are ‘people pleaser’s‘ and have probably been that way all of our lives.

For instance, a friend asks you to help them move on a day when you were going to a baseball game. Instead of going to the game the people pleaser may gift their tickets and help their friend move without a second thought.

But, would the friend your helping do the same for you in a similar situation?

If you are a true people pleaser then you probably would not even mind if your friend was not inclined to reciprocate. However, it should matter (to an extent) since real friendship requires give and take, and not just take. Maybe it is time to stop blindly saying yes to everything that is asked of you. This can be easier said than done since most of us will undoubtedly feel guilt when saying no.

Stop the guilt and stop the yes’s – instead keep a planner handy and only agree to what you can physically & emotionally, handle. Think carefully about each decision before acting and weigh all of your options every time. Plan your personal life in the same manner you would use in a business situation.

What would you make time for?

What is most important to you?

One of the ways that I try to control my time is by never providing an answer on the spot. In the past I would say yes then come to find I had 2 other things planned for that same day. This leads to nothing but disappointment, hurt feelings, it often leaves the other person in a bad position as you back out at the last moment, or it leaves you exhausted from trying to do it all.

The simple fact is that if you do try to do it all, in most cases you will actually achieve almost nothing instead.

So by trying to help everyone you will actually help no one.

STOP the insanity and gain control of your life.

These simple tips will help you to get on track and stay there without the hurt feelings, loss of friendship, having to work far into the night hours just to catch up, or actually paying to outsource work so that you can meet your promises.

And yes, I have done it all myself and yes, I have made many mistakes along the way, but what I have learned is that no change can be made and no improvement can be had, if you are not willing to take a step back and take control of your own life by saying no more often.

  • As mentioned above, keep a planner and not just a simple calendar, you will need something that allows for notes and key info to be written on or near the date.  Keep it with you at all times so that you are always on track.
  • In addition to the calendar you should also keep an app with an audible alarm function on your cell phone or tablet. Use this to keep items that require a reminder to be issued at a certain time. Set the app to ring, sing, whatever gets your attention, at 5 or 10 minutes prior to the actual time of appointment. By giving yourself a cushion of time you can save a lot of headache. Set the reminder accordingly, you may want to know an hour ahead or a day, but keep it set.
  • Be a leader and never a follower – is this something your mom used to tell you too? Mine did. She always taught me to follow my instincts and to create opportunity not wait for them to maybe appear. The same holds true today, however sometimes we need a gentle reminder. We can be our own life coaches if we stop second guessing ourselves and blindly following others along their path. Stop and find your own path or better yet – create one.
  • If it is a really good friend or someone that you really do want to help, but time simply will not allow it, you might try finding another person(s) who can help them. If you can find someone reliable and trustworthy to assist that friend then you will have no cause to feel guilty.
  • Always be honest with the parties involved. How would you feel if someone said that they could not help you because they had a funeral to go to then you see them entering a club or laughing with a group of friends? You would likely be very upset, but it would be about the lie and not what the person was actually doing instead. Keep that in mind as you provide an ‘excuse’ for your no.
  • And finally, I would say – consider your health when you are planning your life.

Can you honestly handle all of what is asked of you?

Do you go through a weekend of helping everyone else only to find yourself racing against the clock in order to finish your own obligations then poof – it’s time to go back to work?

It is only a little 2 letter word, NO, so why are we so afraid of it?  Let’s start today and take charge of our lives in a way that can make us happy, fulfilled, and still be a good person.

This is by no means an excuse to be selfish or to be the person that never helps anyone. That is the other extreme. You should help people and always be a good person in your everyday lives.

BUT… Balance is the key. Balance is the answer.

We must achieve balance in our lives to be truly happy and good people.

Until next time, be well and live a good life my friends.


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This is a guest post – Liz Calamusa is a published author as well as an expert in Online Business practices. Liz’s work can be found on many well-respected websites as well as an ongoing series of business manuals that is causing quite a stir due to the very different approach she has taken.


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