1. Recognize that you have choices. Usually people-pleasers feel as if they don’t have a choice, and they have to say yes when someone asks for their help. But you DO have a choice – and it’s Ok to say no.
2. Decide on your priorities. If you already have commitments or you have set priorities then it’s easy to say no as you’ve a genuine “excuse”. Do what matters most to you, and please remember - it’s your life!
3. Stall for time – don’t give an answer right away. Say you need a bit of time before you make up your mind. That allows you time and space to think about the consequences. For other things will likely suffer if you take on far too much.
4. Don’t be afraid to add conditions to your yeses. For example, say that you’ll only say yes if someone else says yes as well – or only take on a new task for a set period of time.
5. Are you being manipulated? There are plenty who will use you to ensure their plans succeed, so watch out for those compliments and empty flattery.
6. Be firm when you say no. The first time you say no it feels uncomfortable and hard. But once you’ve done that a few times it starts to feel much easier. Also, if you sound confident then others take you seriously.
7. Don’t defend you decision. You have a right to say no – and to NOT defend yourself. It’s your life after all - you don’t have to explain “why” … or come up with excuses … or be pushed and pressurised. And don’t apologise to others - saying no is not a crime!