How to turn someone down gently
Being asked to help someone out happens every now and then. It can be small things or it can be bigger projects that take a lot of time. Whenever you are asked to help out carefully consider your options. Saying yes to helping out all the time could result in you never having time for yourself and the things you want to do. It’s important to learn how to say no. This is very difficult, but nonetheless, it’s paramount that we learn how to do it.
Be grateful that someone asked you for help
That someone asked you for help means that they think you have the capacity to provide it. Be grateful for that someone thinks highly of you.
Don’t let affection blur your vision
How much you care about the person asking for help can affect your judgment. If someone close to you (or someone that you wish would be close to you), asks for help you’ll be much more likely to say yes. However, don’t let your affection blur your vision too much. Try to remain level headed.
Trust you first instincts
Trust your first instincts, they are usually correct. If your gut wrenches and tells you to not jump on board this project, then don’t.
Estimate how much time you would have to invest. Time is your most valuable asset. Don’t just throw it away. Perhaps you would also have to invest money. Even though not as valuable as your time, money still is an important factor.
If you help out, what would be the likely outcome? Is that outcome something that can propel you on your journey in life? Will you learn something new that can be valuable to you, by committing to this project?
Think it over
Even though you immediately know that you’re going to say no, think it over for a little while, perhaps to the next day. That way you’ll show the asker that you’ve taken it seriously.
Always say yes
Even though you’ve decided that you cannot help the person start by saying yes. Say something like ”Yes, I think this is an interesting project, but…”
This way, the person you are turning down doesn’t feel as rejected.
Explain why you cannot help out
Always give an explanation as to why you cannot provide the help needed. Most of the time it’s not because the project in itself is a dead end, but rather that you don’t think it’s right for you. Perhaps you don’t have the correct skill set to truly contribute the help needed. Or you feel that this is simply not a project that you want to take on and therefore you would not be able to give it your best.
Suggest other people
This can be a way of helping out. Even though you don’t agree to provide the help needed, you can do so by referring to others who you think can be willing to help out.
Give your honest opinion
If you truly feel that this is a doomed project, a dead end, then you can help out by explaining this. Here you have to be careful though. This is mined territory. Perhaps the person asking for help already has too much invested both emotionally and financially in this project to just let it go. Then it might be better to simply walk away. However, if you feel that your suggestions would be taken seriously then go ahead and give your honest opinion.
It’s important to learn how to say no, otherwise you might constantly be helping out others and losing yourself in the process. If someone asks for your help you should carefully consider your options. Helping others out gives you a great feeling. It can enable you to learn new things, gain a different perspective. You have to learn how to balance saying yes and no when being asked to help out. But remember, always start by saying yes, even when you are turning someone down.