3 Ways to Say “No” Without Feeling Guilty

Who else is guilty of being a people-pleasing, yes person? At the end of the day, do you find you are exhausted from helping everyone but yourself?

I think we’ve all been there. Women are superheroes, but even they need some downtime. I often wonder if it’s in our DNA to do more than the opposite sex. I believe there is a reason we can multi-task so well, but is it in our best interest?

The question becomes how much we should give of ourselves before sacrificing who we are.

But how do you break this habit? The only example I can give you is from my own experiences. It got to the point where I was saying yes to everything and everyone, and I began to feel taken advantage of. The truth was no one was taking advantage of me, I just made myself so available that the only person to blame was me.

I was angry at myself for not putting my needs first. It was time to change all of that. I started with small things. If helping someone out was going to drain me, why was I doing it? I know everything is not always sunny and bright but when you are giving of yourself you should feel good about it. I still catch myself ready to say yes to things, but then I stop and reply, “Let me think about it and get back to you.” There is no harm in that — it’s what I should have been doing from the start. You will thank yourself.

To sum it up:

  1. Check Yourself You can’t help out anyone else if you are exhausted. Remember to check in with yourself everyday and reevaluate how much you are saying yes. If you feel depleted every night when you get home, you have your answer. Tiredness is a normal feeling, you can feel that from doing things that you love, but depletion is another story.
  2. Take Time Start to give yourself time to reply to people. This will help you decide if it’s something you can do. As I said before, there is no harm in taking time to think.
  3. Simply Say No Say no one time. You will feel empowered by it. And then you will be more confident to make choices that benefit you and the people around you. Soon, you will be able to say no without feeling guilty.

In the end we all contribute more to society when we feel complete with ourselves. Imagine what we can accomplish when we aren’t running on empty.

Skye Dyer is a singer/songwriter and a work-in-progress. You can follow along on