It's important to keep a balance in your life, and part of that is saying "no" sometimes! Here are some tips on how to deliver your message.

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Be Brief

You don’t need to explain why you’re saying no! For a lot of people their first impulse is to over explain why they aren’t saying yes. Remember you aren’t writing a persuasive essay to this person about why it’s okay for you to say no, you’re just trying to inform them that you will not be doing what they asked for.

Be Polite

Say thank you to them for asking. Maybe the person is offering a good opportunity or it was just nice of them to have you in mind. Either way acknowledging that you appreciate the thought keeps you from closing the door on future opportunities to work with them. 

No Excuses

Whatever you do, don’t make excuses. If someone doesn’t want to take no for an answer, they’ll find a way around your excuse. Just be honest that you don’t have the time, resources, or desire to do what they’re asking.

Offer an Alternative

Sometimes you can’t say no, that’s when offering an alternative can help. If your boss wants you to take on another project and get it done quick you can’t really say no. What you can do is ask for an extension on time while mentioning your other responsibilities. Usually people don’t mean to overwhelm you and just need a reminder about what’s on your plate along with a better plan. 

Be firm

Don’t back down from your no. Some people will try everything to get you to commit, even after you’ve made it clear you aren’t interested. If someone does press you, remember to keep things brief and polite. No matter how determined they are they likely will take the hint and back off. Saying no is a skill, the more you practice it the easier it will be to do.