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How to Say No Gracefully

Emphasize with People to Avoid Bad Feelings

By Carl Van

Tip #1: "I'm sorry" doesn't have to mean you feel regretful. A little empathy can go a long way. Tip #2: Repeat back to the other person their point of view; that will allow them to listen to yours. Tip #3: You don't have to prove to someone that the situation is their fault, and neither do you have to take the blame yourself. Tip #4: Show the other person you wish it could be different. Tip #5: Help solve the problem in another way, if possible. Even if alternatives aren't the answer, the fact that you offered them shows that you care. Tip #6: Avoid the word "but" when empathizing. When you say, "I understand, but..." what the other person hears is, "I don't understand."

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