How to Learn to Say No with These Four Tips
If you are starting to study again this year, or you’re a first-time student, there will be times when you will have to choose to focus on your studies with the result of having to say no to people around you. This is not always an easy task. Here are some tips to help you.
- 1. Set Strong Priorities
You have to work out a list of priorities for your life because this will help you make choices that are right for you. If studying is one of your main priorities and it’s vital for your success and happiness that you make it such, then bearing this in mind will make it easier to say no to that friend’s drunken weekend party plans or long lunch just before your exam.
- 2. Think About It
Just because you have set priorities based on the things that are most important to your life, it doesn’t mean that you have to say 'no' to people upfront the minute they ask you for a favour. For instance, your friend might ask you if you are free to help them move homes on the weekend. Before giving them an answer in a rush, which might lead you to feel guilty for saying no later on (or perhaps kick yourself for committing to something you don’t have time for), tell them you will let them know in a day or so via text or call. This allows you to focus on whether or not you really are available to help - and you can check your schedule to be sure. This also prevents you from being pulled into saying 'yes' to something that you really don’t want to do.
- 3. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Sometimes it’s not easy to say 'no' to loved ones because they might not understand what exactly all your studying time entails. But matching their anger or firmness might not be the best approach. Yes, you must be clear when you cannot do something, but it can help them understand if you are empathetic to their needs. Say that you understand they want to spend time with you and share fun activities, but mention that you are also trying to juggle lots of different commitments. Add the dose of empathy with some fact: Give them an idea of what exactly you need to do for your studies so that they can see what you’re so busy with and that you’re not just blowing them off.
- 4. Focus on Self-Care
Although your studies are a priority and the main reason why you are not able to commit to some social events, you must not neglect the idea of self-care. This means slotting time into your busy schedule for yourself and nobody else. It’s the activities you do during this time that enable you to rest and recharge your batteries. Therefore, they could be different things for different people: for one it could be going to the spa for a massage; for another person it could be catching up on much-needed sleep or hitting the gym. Always put self-care on your list of priorities because without it you can’t be expected to focus energy on your other priorities.