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A word worth practicing

By: Michael Blankenship |

“Half the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” 

– Josh Billings


That word is pretty uncomfortable for most of us to say. 

And yet it’s one of the most important words for us to get comfortable saying to others and to ourselves. 

It frees us from obligations. 

It saves our time for more meaningful tasks. 

It rescues us from poor decisions. 

And it forces us to reconsider how we want to spend our time (and thus our lives).

Now I’m not a sociopath — I know it’d be pretty awkward to just say “No” to people (although there is a time and a place for that). 

So here are 10 different ways to say “No”

  1. Sadly, I have something else going on.
  2. I have another commitment.
  3. I wish I were able to.
  4. I’m afraid I can’t.
  5. I don’t have the bandwidth for that right now.
  6. I’m honored you asked me, but I simply can’t.
  7. Thanks for thinking of me. However, I’m not able to.
  8. I’m sorry, I’m not able to fit this in.
  9. Unfortunately, I already have plans. Maybe next time!
  10. No, thank you, but it sounds lovely.

And remember, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. 

These are just more socially polite ways to say the same thing. 

The more you practice saying “No”, the better you’ll get at it and the less uncomfortable it will become. 

And the better you get at it, the less control other people will have over your time… and the more you’ll be able to direct your schedule where you want it to go.

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