Up until recently, if you invited me to some party with people I didn’t even know when I had other stuff to do, I would have said yes. Why? Because I simply didn’t know how to say no to people. I felt like I was letting them down. I was constantly sacrificing my time doing something that I dreaded and it was awful.
But then I realized that people don’t really care. You’re not hurting their feelings by having other plans. And if they say you are, they probably aren’t great friends anyway. I feel like we have to respect each others time. If I can’t make it to an event because I’ve been so busy that I just need to relax, I’m entitled to that!
You can be totally honest about it too. Little white lies will come back to bite you in the butt and at that point, you really will be hurting the other person if they find out. Your friends should understand if you’re in a funk and just need to be by yourself for a little bit.
Something that has helped me when making a decision is to ask myself if committing to it aligns with my goals. For example, I was invited to a book club meet up which is something I would love to be involved in but I’m currently super busy running my business that I don’t think I’d have much time to read the book. The jogging group however, is only once a week and aligns with my fitness goals so I said yes to that one.
All you have to do is ask yourself “Is this the best use of my time?” to determine what your answer should be.
Now that you want to say no, it’s time to actually start saying it which can feel funky at first. If you feel like you’re put on the spot and don’t know how the respond, just say “Let me check my schedule and get back to you”. When you’re ready to turn down the invite, say “Thank you so much for thinking of me but I won’t be able to make it”. There’s no need to make up excuses or go into it further.
Also be careful not to get trapped with future plans that you really don’t want to do. Sometimes when you say you can’t make it, they come back at you with a new date to see if you’re available later. Remember to use the “lemme check my schedule” speech so you can think it over before committing.
There are a lot of things I say no to now and it has yet to backfire or cause any hurt feelings. The key is in honesty. If you get nervous and blurt out the first lame excuse that pops into your head, they most likely will be able to figure you out. What’s wrong with saying “I have plans to lay in bed and watch Netflix all day” anyway?
Learning how to say no like a pro will take a load off your shoulders so you can focus on the important areas of your life that will drive you to success. Always keep your goals and priorities in mind!