Many people struggle to say no to friends or at work when they are given additional tasks because we like to please and be seen as capable. But if you have too many demands and no more capacity available you should say no.
Try not to feel guilty because it means that someone else can dedicate the right amount of time and attention to the task. Assertiveness can be used in a variety of ways to confidently and reasonably say "no".
As you grow up your experiences teach you that you can't always decline requests. You may end up with unhelpful beliefs about saying "no" which increase the difficulty of you saying it. For example, you may think that saying "no":
Consider these beliefs if you've noticed you experience any unhelpful ones holding you back from declining requests:
The Art of Saying No: Kenny Nguyen at TEDxLSU
Noted entrepreneur and presentation expert Kenny Nguyen passionately speaks about the power inherent in saying "no." The CEO of Big Fish Presentations, Kenny speaks about how "no" has affected him personally and professionally, but more importantly, how it can prepare one for the perfect time to say yes.
The psychologist Trevor Powell describes six ways of saying no - you choose which one to use depending on the situation:
When you’re asked to do something you don’t want to do or you can’t do you just say "no" e.g. "I can’t do that." The aim is to say "no" without feeling that you have to apologize. It’s the other person’s responsibility so don’t feel like you have to take responsibility for it.
This is when you acknowledge the content and sentiments of the request and then assertively refuse at the end.
This is where you provide a brief but honest reason for your answer.
This is not an absolute "no" - it’s a way of saying no to the request currently but means you can say yes in the future. You should only use this if you want to genuinely meet the request.
This is again not an absolute "no". In this technique you open up the request to see if there is an alternative.
If the person initially does not accept your "No", then keep repeating yourself. It can be used in a wide range of situations and it is especially useful for persistent requests.
Remember that you have the right to voice your opinions and if you really struggle to say "no" it’s likely that you’re overestimating the difficulty the other person will have in accepting your refusal.