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Saying no with love

Learning to say no is a meaningful way to practice self-care. Remember that every time you say yes to one thing, you say no to something else. If you know for a fact, or after prayerful consideration, you need to say no, then say no. Give yourself permission to say no and free up space on your calendar and in your mind.

Concentrate on what matters most.

Being organized will help you say no to unimportant things. Remember that saying yes is good, but saying yes too often can leave you feeling empty and exhausted. Develop better awareness of what you want and need. Learn to prioritize and make time for the people in your life that mean the most to you. Be mindful of saying yes when it may disrupt your peace. Learn to say no, so you can say yes to what matters most.

Get comfortable with saying no. 

Fear of offending people or pushing them away, unwillingness to upset others, inability to create boundaries and say what you mean — all of these are valid reasons for feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of saying no. Therefore, embrace the beauty of a no, knowing that the word no is a complete sentence. Learn to only say yes to what you want. Before answering, either way, ask yourself if it is something to which you can fully commit. Don't feel obligated to say yes to anything that will jeopardize your peace. You do a disservice to yourself and the person asking by not saying no when you should. When you are mentally comfortable with saying no, saying no becomes more effortless.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

- Ephesians 4:29 NIV

Say no lovingly.

The key to saying no is to be assertive and kind. Have compassion for yourself as well as the person requesting something from you. Here are some ways to help you say no lovingly.

  • I am sorry, but I cannot do that right now, but thank you for thinking of me.
  • No, thank you. I appreciate your offer, but I have to decline.
  • I am flattered by the offer, but I cannot accept it.
  • I would love to but now is not a good time.
  • Sadly, I cannot pursue that avenue but thank you for thinking of me.

These are examples of saying no with love and grace. Let people know you are thankful they asked or thought of you.

Most of us don't enjoy letting others down. But since we can't say yes to everything, we must learn to say no with love and grace. Asking yourself that simple question—Is this something I want to commit to?—will go a long way in helping you make the best choices for yourself and your time. Saying no can be difficult, but doing so allows you to make room for meaningful things. So embrace your power to say no, free up mental space, and save time. No is more than just a complete sentence; it's an empowering statement.

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