This is When to Say No (and why you should not feel guilty)

Ever feel as though you are being pulled in many different directions and that you always have to give something of you every turn you take. Well, do not let yourself be manipulated into doing something; you can say no! And maybe when you say no, it might force others who never get asked or volunteer; to step up to the plate.

When should you say no (and not feel guilty)?

1. When asked to add another person to your guest list
You have finally chosen a menu and decided how much per plate you will pay and how many plates you will have and then someone wants you to add an aunt, uncle or work friend. Just remember you have already had to make so many tough decisions to get the guest list down to size and budget. So say no.

Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: It’s your party and money. And you can make it up to the extras by having them over to your home as soon as you can or include them on any other future list (with ample notice).

2. When you are asked to make a contribution for a “distant” relative
The contribution may be for a gift, for a wedding, for bridal shower or birthday party but you barely know this person and your budget is tight so feel free to just say no.

Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: Being related to someone does not mean you are close. Perhaps in future your relationship will be different but even if it is not if they are “family” they will understand you have personal priorities that take precedence.

3. When asked again to take a leading role for an event
Flattering as it may be that you are the number one go to person for family, work or school events; these can be demanding of your time, energy and personal free time. And if you have just been playing the leading role in the last few events in your circle it is wise to say no.

Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: By saying no you are giving yourself a chance to recover; financially, emotionally and physically and this can only be a good thing for everyone in your circle

4. When someone asks to borrow your car
Your friend wants to borrow your car and promises the car will be back before the end of the day. Even if your insurance policy covers the car and not specific drivers; your friend could get into an accident and this could make your premium go up. Also the car could take ages to repair and you will both be pedestrians or bussing for a while. So say no.

Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: A car is not cheap and is probably the first or second most valuable thing you own and frankly you are protecting a big financial asset and your relationship.

5. When a friend or relative asks you to lend them money
Lending any amount of money can cause problems; it can change the nature of your relationship if the person doesn’t pay you back. No matter how close a relative or how good a friendship you have. If possible help them to find someone neutral and reliable they can borrow money from and you say no.

Why you shouldn’t feel guilty: There is no rule that says you have to lend money to friends or relatives even if you have it. Guard your relationships by eliminating money from the equation.


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo