01. Just say, â€œIâ€™m sorry. I can't do this right now.â€ Use a sympathetic,
but compact tone. If pressured as to why, reply that it doesnâ€™t fit with
your schedule, and change the subject. Most reasonable people will accept
this as an answer, so if someone keeps pressuring you, theyâ€™re being rude,
and itâ€™s OK to just repeat, â€œIâ€™m sorry, but this just doesnâ€™t fit with my
schedule," and change the subject, or even walk away if you have to.
02. If youâ€™re uncomfortable being so hard or compact, or are dealing with
pushy people, itâ€™s OK to say, â€œLet me think about it and get back to you.â€
This gives you a chance to review your schedule, as well as your feelings
about saying "yes" to another commitment, do a cost-benefit analysis, and
then get back to them with a yes or no. Most importantly, this tactic
helps you avoid letting yourself be pressured into over scheduling your
life and taking on too much stress.
03. If you would really like to do what theyâ€™re requesting, but donâ€™t have
the time (or are having trouble accepting that you donâ€™t), itâ€™s fine to
say, â€œI canâ€™t do this, but I canâ€¦â€ and mention a lesser commitment that
you can make. This way youâ€™ll still be partially involved, but it will be
on your own terms.