Ask B: How Do I Politely Say No?

How to Politely Say No
Interview Magazine
Dear B, 

I am a people pleaser, and have reached the point where I hardly ever say no to anyone. I am feeling so stressed! I don’t want to disappoint my friends, family, and colleagues, however, I’m realizing I need to learn to politely say no sometimes. Any advice? 

Yes Lady

Yes Lady, 
This issue is all too familiar for so many of us! Between fabulous jobs, thrilling social lives, and a constant need to please, we are often left feeling stretched too thin, and perhaps on the verge of dare I say a nervous breakdown (no one wants one of those!). If you find yourself saying “yes, yes, yes” and are desperately wishing to shout “no, no, no!”, how do you politely offer a decline without burning a bridge? The name of the game is graciousness, honesty, and firmness. Say for instance you’re asked to chair an event next spring that requires a substantial time commitment and while it sounds spectacular, you don’t have a minute in your schedule to spare. Simply say, “Thank you for thinking of me for this opportunity, I’m so honored! While I would love to chair ABC event, unfortunately I can’t this year, as my schedule is packed and I wouldn’t be able to give it my all. I can recommend some other people for the position though, and will definitely purchase a ticket to the event in May!”Just remember, it’s OK to say no sometimes, and when you do, strive to be kind and honest in your delivery. Good luck!

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