by Vartika Kashyap

Saying no to someone is perhaps the hardest job in this world. But, the fact of the matter is that you just cannot help everyone all the time. There can be times when you are preoccupied doing certain things that you just cannot help others and you have to disappoint them by saying no.

How can you say no to others without hurting them? Well, saying no is an art. And, here are some tips that can help you become adept at the same –

  • Time is a rare commodity; value it

We all have 24 hours in a day. And, we all have our own priorities. Getting an unexpected request from some team member to help in his/her tasks can, therefore, cost you a lot.  Being helpful is good, when you know that it is not going to cost your productivity. But, it won’t be a good idea to sacrifice your personal productivity while you are busy helping others. After all, at the end of the day it’s how much YOU have done at work is something that’s going to matter.

  • Be polite; but don’t overdo it

Remember, saying no does not mean you have to push over others. You don’t have to be rude when saying no to someone. You just need to show the other person that it’s really not in your hands to help them, although you would have loved to. Be polite. Empathize with them, but at the same time don’t overdo it. Words like, “I’d be happy to help when I’m over and done with my task” or “I’d love to help, but I already my deadlines approaching” can help the other person easily understand your situation.

  • Be firm; you cannot do everything for everyone, every time

No matter how hard you try, someone or the other is going to be unhappy. So stop bothering about those things, and stick to your priorities. Remember – you cannot do everything for everyone, every time. So, focus on what’s important for your life first, and then think of how much you can do for others. Be firm when saying know, and tell them that your plate is already full.

  • Don’t be apologetic; it sucks

Saying no sucks. But, at the same time saying sorry for something, which you know is going to have a negative impact on your performance sucks even more. So, whenever you say NO to someone because you are already too occupied with your own stuff, don’t apologize. It is important to be polite, but that does not mean you have to be sorry every time you turn someone down for helping them with their work. After all, there’s nothing wrong in saying NO as long as you are not doing it on purpose to hurt someone’s sentiments!

  • Suggest another option

Sometimes, no matter how much you wish you could help the other person, you have to say no because you are already overwhelmed with your priorities. Just to ensure that the other person does not get offended when stuck in rut, try to think of any alternatives for them to getting their job done. If you think someone else can come to their rescue, then recommend that person. You can even show them the way to work on the task, and suggest them to try it on their own.

  • Practice the art of saying no

Hard work, empathizing, time management and organizing are some of the arts, which you need to practice in order to master them. And, saying NO is also one of them. As they say, practice makes a man perfect. Practice this habit, wherever and whenever you can. A great way is to stand upfront in the mirror, look into it and try to say no. you can even try a little roleplay practice with any of your friends and see how it goes from there!

At the end of the day, the decision is going to be entirely yours. Whether you have to help someone or not is up to you. But, one thing you must forget here is that whenever you are saying a Yes to someone, you are in fact saying no to yourself!

So, it is up to you to decide what’s more important – your personal tasks or someone else’?

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