You can say no and still be nice.

Saying “no” to certain things will allow you to say “yes” to those things you know are worth your time. And when you have been consistently kind to yourself, you are better able to be kind to others.

There will be times when you will need to say “no” to someone out of kindness to yourself. Just because you believe in kindness does not mean that you allow yourself to be a doormat.

Saying “no” can be really hard. But sometimes that is the best thing you can do.   It can take practice to say no in a way that feels right to you and doesn’t offend people.

Prepare yourself to say ‘no’. Create rules for yourself to guide you when you are asked to do something. For example: I can only volunteer 1 hour a week.  When you are asked for more than that, you already know that you are not available and you can say that ‘no’ with more confidence.

Have your few go-to ways of saying ‘no’.  If you are consistent with the same words, you’ll have an easier time saying it. “I wish there were two of me.” “I’m maxed out.” “Thanks for thinking of me, I’m not able to help you at this time.” “My time is already committed.” “If I say yes to this, I’ll be taking time away from my family.”  “I don’t have the time right now, I can make a recommendation.”  “This is what I can do… [whatever is comfortable for you].”  “I admire the work you are doing.  I am not able to help. I wish you much success.”

Don’t look back with regret or guilt. Think of your reason and be assured you did right by yourself and family.

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