Everyone has done this. Someone will ask you for a favour you don't want to do, invite you to go or do something you have no interest in attending or take on too much work on your job. Then, you give in by saying yes out of fear of hurting that person's feelings or just don't want to feel guilty for saying ‘no’.
You shouldn't feel guilty for saying ‘no’ if you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed.
So, take some time to evaluate why you want to say ‘no’ and evaluate your priorities.
In life, some obligations require your attendance or participation, but sometimes, you need to take a step back and think about whether something is worth your time and energy.
An important thing to ask yourself is: Is this worth my time and energy? After a long week, will I feel more burnt out or anxious by doing this?
Sometimes we don't want to go out on the weekends, and we need that time to relax and recharge.
On the other hand, if it's work-related, you may need to tell your boss that you need more time to complete specific projects or can't take on anymore due to burnout.
Next, evaluate who's asking? Will the person asking appreciate it and would return the favour?
Usually, we feel like saying ‘no’ to certain people because we've been screwed over or left disappointed by that person in the past. If this is the case, let them know.
Don't beat around the bush or create excuses - if you don't want to do something, the best thing to do is be upfront about it and kindly decline. If you already feel overwhelmed, don't be afraid to say that you would rather spend time decompressing or letting them know you already have other tasks to do. Be honest while being courteous by saying something like:
“Thanks for the invite, but I’m going to stay home tonight” or “I would like to help, but I’m taking some time to myself after a stressful week.”
If someone asks you something that you feel uncertain about, don't be afraid to tell them you need some time to think it over and let them know later.
Overall, you shouldn't feel guilty for saying no if you feel like that is the best response. Accepting to take on something you don't want to put energy into can reduce your productivity and negatively impact you. Whatever you're feeling at that moment, don't be afraid to say how you really feel.
Try saying ‘no’ without feeling guilty, because whatever you choose is the best answer at the moment. Just remember to be polite when you decline.