How To: Say "No" Without Sounding Like a Jerk

Say "No" Without Sounding Like a Jerk

A work acquaintance you don't know very well invites you to his backyard barbecue and you don't really want to go. Do you politely decline or do you feel paranoid about hurting his feelings and say "yes"?

While it is a good thing to want to be a nice and helpful person, being a people-pleaser and saying "yes" to other people's requests at the expense of your own commitments and priorities is extremely detrimental to your own personal well-being.

Listed below are eight verbal strategies for gently but firmly letting the other person know that you can't fulfill his or her request. The more you say "no" to things you don't really want to do or are not passionate about, the more time you have to say "yes" to the people you really want to see, the events you really want to check out and the goals you feel most passionate about.

On the flip side of the coin, if you really want somebody to say "yes" to your request, check out my previous guide, "9 Ways to Get People to Do What You Want."

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