Protecting Your Energy: How to Decline a Person’s Request for Help

Sometimes it’s just harder to say no.

When dealing with loved ones or maybe even people at your workplace, you may find yourself unable to say no to things in order to appease those around you.

But the reality is, this behavior does little for your own well-being. Your energy is just as important as those of your loved ones, which is why protecting it should be on your priority list, even when it means saying no.

1. Give yourself space.

Sometimes we get caught up in the moment and rush to answer a request without thinking about our own needs. In these situations, it is helpful to take a second and give yourself the space needed from the situation to think clearly.

If you receive a request and you are really unsure of how to respond, don’t be afraid to tell the person that you need time to think it over.

2. Prepare yourself.

Once you have thought over the request and are clear on what is needed from you both physically and emotionally, you will then be in a place where you can begin to answer.

However, practicing your response before you circle back with the person is extremely important. This will allow you to go in comfortable, confident and able to clearly articulate yourself. Prepping for the conversation will allow you to anticipate the other person’s reaction and come ready for all possible scenarios.

3. Keep calm.

When saying no, the person may not have a positive reaction. They may respond by making you feel bad or uneasy about protecting your energy. In these situations, it is important to remain calm and hold your ground.

Remember your thought process that lead you to this answer as well as your own well-being. Your needs are just as important as theirs. There must be a reason why you decided to say no – don’t lose sight of this.

4. Provide your reasoning.

Be willing to explain your stance as best as you can. You want to assure the person that you thought through the request. Also, try to answer questions where you can. This will hopefully be an opportunity for you and the person to understand your boundaries and eliminate any awkwardness. In the cases where you’ve chosen to decline something simply for personal reasons, it is acceptable to only share what you are comfortable with the person knowing.

5. Find alternative solutions.

It may be helpful to offer other ways to help the person. Maybe it isn’t exactly what they hoped for or wanted from you but if there is anything that you can do to help, that is within your means and personal well-being, try to see if the person will accept.

This will remind the person that, although you are saying no this time you do in fact care about them. Lastly, it may help to alleviate any guilty feelings that you may hold for saying no.


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