Saying no is something I find very tricky. Whether it is for friends or clients, I am a person who loves to help others and see others succeed. Part of this is why I enjoy doing what I do, but it also makes it tricky to say no.
Not saying no however has dire implications for yourself. That is, you will inevitably end up spending so much time doing this for others and overloading yourself with various type of work that you neglect your own well-being.
Sadly, there is no magical recipe for saying no, other than to start doing it and practice. Start with smaller things. One of the best techniques, that will also capture your professionalism, is to offer alternatives rather than just blatantly blurting out a no.
Offering an alternative solution and course of action for the person will free you of the obligation, which let’s face it you really didn’t have time for if you are honest with yourself, while still sounding professional, since you are in fact partly helping them move on to a solution.
I am really bad at saying no, but I keep practicing. For my own well-being.