Do You Know How to Say No?

(Throughout the month, I’m blogging 20 questions from this month’s feature article in O magazine.)


QUESTION 8- Do I Know How to Say No?

No is the first word most of us learn to say. Why then, is it so hard for some of us to place boundaries on our time and current responsibilities? Is it because of other’s perceptions of us and possible judgment? Is it because we truly want to do it all, say Yes on impulse without weighing any pros and cons?

I don’t have a problem overcommitting to things. My mom taught me that when faced with a potentially awkward request that I need to decline, that I should do so without feeling the need to explain. A simple, “No, I’m not going to be able to do that” works. And if the receiver of this message presses on, you repeat yourself politely but firmly. No guilt trips. No explanations.

How do you decline new commitments that you know you don’t really want to can’t carry out? Do you explain yourself or feel guilty afterward?