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How to Say No Once and for All

<p>You live your freelancer life for some time now. You have many interesting contracts and you manage to have enough work, as well as respecting most of your family commitments. Suddenly, a new whimsical client asks you to do a new project with tight deadlines. Later on that same day, a friend asks for some help regarding an urgent presentation he must do this week. And now, your child&rsquo;s school requests volunteers to accompany children on a field trip. You said yes, however, it leaves a bitter taste. Why can you not say no?</p> <h3><strong>Why are you not able to say no?</strong></h3> <p>There are several reasons why we prefer to say yes instead of no, especially if you are a freelancer or a self-employed person. To start with, as mentioned on <a href="https://www.momenteo.com/blog/" target="_blank">Momenteo&rsquo;s blog</a>, uncertainty is often part of most freelancers&rsquo; lives. You never really know when one of your main customers will not have any projects left for you or when an off-season will occur. This is why that in order to be sure to have enough money and work that a lot of freelancers always say yes, even if they wish to say no. Unfortunately, this can have many negative consequences on your work and on your mental health.</p> <p>It is hard to say no because people tend to avoid to disappoint, displease or to appear selfish. In fact, it is bad to be seen as someone who does not want to help others or who say always no. The refusal is often regarded as something negative. We learn as kids that we need to be gentle and generous. These reasons explain why some people have trouble thinking about their needs first.</p> <h3><strong>When should you say no?</strong></h3> <p>First, you have the right to say no. You are not under obligation to say yes, you are the one saying yes. You need to have your limits and values in mind when you take a decision since it will help you to see things more clearly. You can even write them down on a piece of paper to make sure to remember them when making a decision. <a href="https://www.momenteo.com/blog/freelance-life-how-to-set-boundaries-" target="_blank">Set your boundaries</a> as soon as possible, it will help you respect your limits. Look also for physical and psychological symptoms you feel when you say yes but your head wants to say no. Is accepting a new contract make you feel stressed or frustrated? Is accepting to help a family member disturb your sleep? Do you regret your decision? These are good indicators that you should have said no. You need to learn how to listen to your needs first.</p> <h3><strong>How can we say no then?</strong></h3> <p>There is no magic recipe to help you say no without causing disappointment. However, here are some tips to help you do it without causing too much damage. When you know what you want, say it. Do not justify yourself for hours, be simple, brief, and clear with answers like &ldquo;I do not have the time right now&rdquo;, &ldquo;no, I cannot&rdquo; or &ldquo;I am unfortunately not available&rdquo;. Moreover, do not invent a lie that could fall back on you and harm your credibility. Another option is to ask for a reflection period before giving your answer. This will then give you time to think about it.</p> <p>You can also show some openness when you say no by adding something like &ldquo;maybe next time&rdquo;, or that you will have some free time soon or that you would need more time than planned to achieve a new project, for instance. It can help cushion the shock, especially if you always say yes. Remember that when you say no, it benefits yourself but also others by extension. It is better to refuse a new project you would not have to do according to your standards, right? In this case, it is likely that this refusal will have fewer consequences than to hand a shoddy work in. In addition, you also have the right to say yes if you feel so. You just do not need to be influenced by the pressure of pleasing others.</p> <h3><strong>Why is it better you say no when you want to?</strong></h3> <p>There are several advantages to say no when you feel like it. First, when you express what you feel, it can help you develop better self-esteem and self-confidence. You must learn to please yourself first and then others. It is not selfishness but integrity. Second, by knowing when you must say no and your limits, you will manage more easily to avoid being exhausted. With time, it is also possible that you will have less toxic people in your life.</p> <p>In conclusion, you have the right to say no if it is what your head and your heart scream. As mentioned above, this is not selfishness because doing so will help not only you but others too. But can you say no when <a href="https://www.momenteo.com/blog/how-to-work-with-your-loved-one-without-losing-your-mind" target="_blank">you work with your life partner</a>? In either case, it is important to set your boundaries before it sours. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

Ariane