How to Say "No" & Mean It: The Fine Art of Saying "No" & How to Find Your Stronger "Yes" by Melissa Vickers

How to Say "No" & Mean It: The Fine Art of Saying "No" & How to Find Your Stronger "Yes"

“If you need something done, ask a busy person!” How many times have you heard that? It is a strategy that works great for the person doing the asking, but isn’t necessarily ideal for the busy person who is all too likely to say yes – again.

The very act of saying no – or yes – is a complex one. Sometimes we say yes when we really mean no; sometimes we say yes when we mean maybe; often we just say whatever we feel the other person wants to hear, which, of course, is most often “Sure, I’ll do that!” And if we say no, then we have to deal with the guilt afterwards, whether self-inflicted or not.

A couple of principles learned from a time management seminar on setting priorities really stuck with me:

  1. The only way to say no and not feel guilty is by having a stronger yes! The yes might be a previous commitment of time like a doctor’s appointment, but it can also be a previous commitment of philosophy as well. And that leads to the second principle...
  2. If you want to accomplish anything in life, you have to know where you are going! Knowing what your goals are helps you identify those stronger yeses. It allows us to say, “No, I can’t help at the school fair because I’ll be volunteering at the local wildlife refuge.” Even if you don’t verbalize your priorities to others, it can help you gather the collective gumption to say no and mean it.

So how do we put these two principles into action?

  • Decide what people, things, ideas, etc., are truly important to you.
  • When asked to take on a new responsibility, ask yourself how it might fit in with your priorities and goals.
  • Remember that saying yes to a lot of little tasks that are outside of your priorities can add up fast!
  • View each potential responsibility or task as not only something that will take up your time, but also as an opportunity to grow, meet new people or learn new skills.
  • It’s OK to say no to something that fits your goals and priorities, and it is OK to say yes to something that doesn’t. That’s what makes life interesting!
  • Just because something needs doing, it doesn’t mean you have to be the one to do it.

There are only 24 hours in a day for everybody, so try to plan as much of your life around your strong YES priorities! Good luck!

Note: 30Seconds is a participant in the Amazon affiliate advertising program and this post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission or fees if you make a purchase via those links. 

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community, and follow us on Facebook to get inspiration in your newsfeed daily. Inspire and be inspired.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Day Planners $6 & Up

​No Is Not a Four-Letter Word: Yes, You Really Need to Learn How to Say No & Here's Why

Exhausted From Being a People Pleaser & Never Saying No? 3 Ways to Say No to People Pleasing

Mom, You Need to Learn to Say No - But There are Some Things You Need to Say Yes To! Like...

Why Saying “No” Can Be As Sexy As How Skinny Jeans Feel!

Elisa Schmitz
Wonderful perspective, Melissa Vickers . "If you want to accomplish anything in life, you have to know where you are going." Isn't that the truth! Many thanks for sharing your keen insights with us. I think you need to write a book! xoxo
Melissa Vickers
Thanks--and congrats on YOUR book! How exciting! I'm proud of you--and I can say I knew you way back when!
Elisa Schmitz
So kind, thank you, Melissa Vickers ! That means so much to me! xoxo

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Clean Ones Pure Comfort Gloves Makes Cleaning Safer & Easier!

Houston Flooding: 3 Common Flood Cleanup Fails & Power Outage Tips for Homeowners

Get Your Fireplace & Dryer Vent Cleaned Annually! Here's Why!

Beyond Sleep Issues: 4 Daylight Savings Time Tips to Keep You on Track!