Gee, you’re popular! Too popular…
Your friends and colleagues are always asking you to help them out, work on their projects, or take you somewhere and pick your brain. Yikes!
While helping others is often lovely and rewarding, taking on TOO much can leave you overwhelmed, resentful, and unaccountably twitchy around dayplanners. You’ve got to learn how to say no — and fast!
Sound it out.
Saying no is easier than you may think. First you make a “nnnn” sound followed by an “ohhhh” sound. Put these together and direct them at the person asking for a bite-sized portion of your limited time on earth.
Sometimes you say no, but people don’t seem to hear you, asking again and again. Double-check to see if you are whispering or saying it under your breath.
Try just saying it again, but MUCH MUCH louder this time — like you’re in a crowded karaoke bar yelling over the sounds of an 8-person bachelor party’s drunken rendition of Sweet Caroline. NO!
Get hired help.
If you still have problems vocalizing effectively (or have a temporary case of laryngitis) consider recruiting your own personal nay-sayer. This service is available via TaskRabbit where for only $10 a pop, you can dispatch another human to tell others no for you.
Mix it up.
As you say “no” more and more often, you may grow bored with the word. Fortunately, there are many other useful alternatives to employ as needed including “nope”, “nuh-uh”, or “no way José.”
Note: you can still use this last tip even if your requester is not in fact named José — it will work for a person with any name (such as Frank or Sunita or Lizzie). That said, it may be doubly effective if they are indeed named José.
For added effect, you may consider a dramatic visual cue.
Put the word no on a business card and slowly slide it across the table, hire a skywriter (it’s only 2 letters!), or do one of those David Blaine tricks where when they lift up their shirt it’s written on their belly in Sharpie.
They’ll be disappointed by your response, but amazed at your showmanship!
And that’s all there is to it! Now that you know how, go out there with your head held high and say YES to saying NO.