Often times, we are scared to say ‘no’ even if we want to, even if we need to.
Suppose a friend asks you for ‘help’ to complete a project. You know that you are extremely busy and you don’t have the time for the ‘help’ requested. Being scared of offending a friend you just accept the request without proper thinking. This is lack of ‘assertiveness’. It will lead to a greater problem when the relevant time comes. If you help, you will consider in your mind that your friend is inconsiderate because your own work is suffering. If you don’t, your friend will be upset because you have gone back from your commitment and let him/her down.
So, what should you do?
Develop assertiveness. It’s developing your ability to say ‘no’ when you need to say ‘no’. But you have to say it in a manner that it does not offend your friend. You must use your language and articulate your inability in such words and such tone that your friend appreciates your position rather than feeling upset. The same holds good for your colleagues in office and others.