These days it seems hard to say “no”.
We are besieged with requests for our time, our attention, our talent, our money, our influence. People have learned the art of asking, don't you think?
What seems tougher for most of us is that magic word: “no”.
Here's something that makes “no” easier – “because”.
“No, I'm not going to take that meeting because it seems we could handle it with a quick phone call instead.”
“No, I can't join the committee because I'm focusing that time each week on my family instead.”
“No, I'm not going to do that extra work on your project because that goes beyond our original agreement.”
The point of “because” is it makes “no” easier to swallow. Even if your “because” is as simple as not wanting to do whatever is being asked of you. For instance:
“No, I'm not interested in your offer because I don't want to spend the money.”
It's liberating – because every “no” leads you to a place where you can say “yes” to something you really do want.