1. Think and plan ahead—remember what it’s like to feel guilty and frustrated about commitments you’ve made to do things you don’t have the time, energy or desire to do.
2. Commit to never giving an immediate response—request time to think about it. Simply say, “I need time to think about this. I’ll get back to you.”
3. Weigh the costs and rewards. Ask yourself, “Will scheduling this cause undue stress?” “Does this align with my goals?”
4. Learn to say “no” directly, without feeling guilty or giving a lengthy explanation. After all, you don’t usually offer a reason when you say “yes.”
5. Be prepared for others to push your boundaries and be ready to say “no” as many times as it may take
6. You may be able to avoid a confrontation by offering the other party choices.
7. When you’ve said no, remember that you’re not responsible for others’ reactions.
8. Practice saying “no” until it feels comfortable without offering any explanation.
9. Before making a commitment, be sure you have a complete understanding of exactly what’s being asked of you.