6 Tips For Saying No When You Don’t Like Letting People Down

A while back, I wrote a post called 5 Times You’ll Be Happy You Said No. It was a hit! Not tooting my own horn, but so many people seem to really resonate with the idea of saying “no” and how we boggle ourselves down in commitments we don’t necessarily have the time or desire to do because we want to be “nice” or “liked.” I know that saying you should say “no” is easy but I know the actual execution of it can be hard.

It can be hard because we don’t like letting people down, but also because some people don’t like to take “no” for an answer.

When it comes to taking requests it’s important that you consider what, ‘yes’’ really means. Does it mean you’ll have to sacrifice something? Does it mean you’ll have to do something out of your comfort zone or that goes against your core values? Will it put you in a position that takes away the hard work you’re doing towards your goal?

If you are like me and work a full-time job while running your own business and trying to have a personal life then you have to learn how to say “no.” It really is simple, you can’t do everything. My friend Ashley always says, “You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything.” You can say yes to anything you want but you can’t say yes to everything… stick with me it kind of works. You have to know what you want and you have to be able to recognize when things aren’t for you and you have to  get comfortable with letting others know that.

6 Tips For Saying “No”

Don’t Let It Linger

The worst thing you can do is it act like you’re considering saying yes when your answer is “no.” If your “no” your answer is “no” then you should go ahead and say so. Have you ever invited someone to something that you had an extra ticket to or a plus one and they told you, “I’ll let you know,” then at the last minute told you that they couldn’t make it so you had to go alone? I am more than okay doing things by myself but there are certain things that are more fun with a friend. Had they just told you ahead of time you could have asked someone else to go with you but they waited till it was too late? Don’t you hate that? Don’t do that to other people. If you don’t want to or can’t do something let them know so they can ask someone else.

Don’t Over Explain

The fastest way you can turn your “no” into a “yes” is talking too much. We as humans start talking about all the reasons we can’t do something then start moving things around to make something fit into our schedule we had “no” desire to fit in any way. It’s a slippery slope.

“I can’t babysit tonight because I really need to finish some stuff for the blog…Well, the kids go to bed at 9 so maybe I can do it once they go to sleep. Yeah, I’ll babysit.” That happened so fast!”

I used to sell insurance and in sales training, I remember learning this super simple technique to get people to talk themselves out of their own objections, you ask them a question and just stay quiet. People by nature don’t like silence it makes them uncomfortable so they will just keep talking to fill the silence. This is how we talk ourselves out of things and into things. We just keep rambling to fill the silence and then subconsciously (And sometimes consciously) the other person just stays silent till they get an answer they like.  I’m not saying your friends, family and coworkers are doing this to you on purpose but that it just tends to be human nature.

Don’t go too far into detail. KISS. Keep it simple stupid.

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Don’t Apologize

From an early age, we are taught to apologize when we do something wrong. Guess what, using your freedom of choice to decline an invitation or request isn’t wrong. So don’t apologize. Apologizing  by nature gives us the impression of wrongdoing which gives us the feeling of guilt. Don’t apologize just answer respectfully. “No, I can’t babysit tonight I have other things to take care of.” You don’t have to apologize for having your own priorities, plans, and preferences.

Don’t Let Yourself Be Bullied

Sometimes people will hear no, accept it and move on, then there are the people who won’t hear you at all. They are the “sleazy sales types,” who have an objection for everything you say. This person doesn’t hear “ no,” they hear “maybe” and “not yet.”

Remember how earlier I said people say yes because they want to be liked?  Bullies know this. They will use 5 tactics to get you to say yes, guilt, persistence, sympathy, compliments, and bargaining.

Here is what some of this might look like, so you can have an idea on how to spot it.

Guilt: “Come on, Lily! I helped you finish up those reports last. It won’t even take that long. You owe me!

Persistence: “I really want to go to happy hour after work what do you think….oh come on.” 2 hours later, “Are you going to come to happy hour? I need a drink!” An hour later, “Did you change your mind?”

Sympathy: “Please. I haven’t had a night out in so long. If you just watch the kids for a few hours it would help me out so much. I am so stressed out right now. Please”

Compliments: “I know you’re busy but you are the best baker I know. It’s only 4 pies. You can just quadruple the ingredients and I’m sure with your skill it will be so easy!”

Bargaining: “Okay, you can’t work all day Saturday but what about a few hours after your nephew’s soccer game. You can just come straight from there and it’s Saturday so you can just stay in your casual clothes.”

Offer a Different Solution

You can’t always solve the problems of others but sometimes you can make hearing the, “No” a little easier for the other person if you offer a bit of a consolation. Don’t feel obligated to do this but if it is something you really would like to do but just don’t have the time or money then this might be a good way to show interest but still properly decline.

“That sounds like such a fun trip but I can’t right now. Maybe I can go next year or we can plan a smaller trip later in the year.”


“I can’t volunteer to work the Casino night but if you want to send me a copy of the invitation, I will be happy to share it with my friends.”

They may not be walking away with the thing they had hoped for but they will at least feel like they have a small win.

You should never feel guilty for saying “no.” The right people in your life will respect that decision and the people who don’t probably need to get used to people telling them “no”.

Remember sometimes “no” isn’t just a good choice for you but it can also be helpful for the person asking the favor. Your “no” gives them the opportunity to get a “yes” from someone else. When you say “no” they can give that extra concert ticket to someone else, get an event coordinator who really is excited about their cause or go to that wedding with a date who actually might be romantically interested in them.

Say “Yes” Sometimes.

Only say yes when you’re sure. Here is the thing, I’m not telling you to be a negative Nancy and say “no” to everything, I’m telling you to get comfortable saying “no” when you truly want to say “no” or can’t do the thing you’re being asked.

Saying yes sometimes is how you have new experiences, meet new people, learn new skills and advance your current ones. It is all about balance!

I do want to throw out this simple reminder that it is always better to say, “No” up front then to say a very enthusiastic, “Yes,” then follow it up with 9th hour, “no.” It makes you look flaky, unreliable and honestly, rude.

Disclaimer:  I know that people might read this post and go down the troll path or try to make things cut and dry, “If you want to say no, just say no.” If that is how you operate then that is awesome. This post isn’t for you and that’s fine! 🙂  But a lot of people have trouble letting other people down and this is for them. This is written for the young woman who is trying to find her path and doesn’t want it to be taken over by the demands of others. To her, I say, “You got this! Little by little becomes a lot, my friend.”


Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017 Goals, Dreams & All

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Happy New Year. This is going to be a super huge goals post as it will encompass my December goals recap, January goals, annual review, and annual goals so enough pussyfooting around let’s get this done.

December Goals

Personal Goals

  • Move and unpack the new place.

I can’t tell you what happened. Maybe it was seeing all my stuff in a smaller place or the fact I’d spent most of the week unbelievably sick and sleeping, but I got this crazy fire in my body, and I was unpacked pretty much the next day. I had a few people offer to help me unpack, and I was like, “Yeah I’m done.” (Also PSA- Don’t offer to help me unpack, offer to help people move their stuff, that is the hard part. If you help me unpack I’m either going to take even longer telling you where to put stuff or have to look for things once you left because I don’t know where you put them. I know you’re trying to be nice, but I can decide where to put stuff, I could use help lugging it down a flight of stairs and up two more. Although I do totally appreciate you thinking of me.)

  • Get all my Christmas shopping done.

Christmas shopping was about an hour at one store. I know a lot of people commented that it worried them that I wasn’t done at the start of December, but I had like five gifts to buy and had them all picked out.

  • Have a great time at Christmas with the family.

It was exhausting but so much fun. I got to spend a lot of time with my big sister. To be honest, it was probably the first time we’d spent more than a day together without wanting to fight. DAW! Look at us growing up.

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Continue working on Launch Your Signature Course!

I have been working on it pretty hard This course and the community behind it are amazing!

  • Finish working on DiaDarling.com

No, sadly I spend most of my website development time working on my course site but sadly I had a major technical issue on it the other day, so this is on hold (more about this all later).

  • Finish the articles for my feature in All Things Trend Magazine!

So as it turns out, I only have to write one. Whew! I have two drafts of two different articles but haven’t decided which one will go to the magazine.

  • Have 500 Facebook page likes

522! Finally! I have been trying to climb that mountain for a while.

  • Have 2850 Twitter Followers


  • Have 1040 Instagram Followers


  • Have 900 Pinterest Followers


  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library

No. Maybe I should have only read one book and worked on this. I did start one and have a fantastic blog post ready to share with it, but it will be out later this month.

  • Post at least 5 times this month


  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.


  • Crush the webinar I have scheduled this month. December 17th! Save the date!

My partner had to postpone, but there will be more webinars in 2017!

Health and Fitness

  • Walk 7,000 steps a day
  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.

So I’ll just answer all of these together and say I sucked at Health and Fitness in December. Lol.

Wow, what a month. Now I want to take some time to review the progress on my yearly goals.  I set goals a year ago and then revisited them over the summer and discovered I aimed kind of low, so I raised them.

2016 Goals

Travel: Travel to Los Angeles and attend Blogher 16

I did, and it was amazing! You can read part 1 and 2 of that journey.

Publish Articles 262

So, this is a little hard to gauge. I published roughly 91 articles this year as Dia Darling. When I set this goal, I was publishing 2 posts week on AllTheThingsIDo.com, 1 guest post a month and about 1 post a week at my job. By that math 262 was a long stretch, but I had managed to do over 200 in 2015, so I said, “I got this.” I didn’t take into account that the first few months of my blog I was publishing about 5 times a week.

I started the year with the intention of publishing twice a week, once on Monday and once on Thursday. As summer, blogger burnout (link), a break-up and 2nd job change took it’s toll I made the decision to temporarily publish one post a week.

After a while I started to occasionally publish twice a week but ultimately decided that it would be better for my business as a whole to spend the time writing, editing, creating graphics and marketing the 2nd post on other projects like guest posting, working on content upgrades, taking courses and creating my course.

At my new job, I do a lot of copywriting and company blogs, so I am more than positive I have hit that doing on average 4-10 blog posts a week there, but I don’t count those toward my business goal. This year I will be making that a smaller goal. As I only plan to publish once a week on my blog.

Social Media

I mentioned my social numbers above, so I won’t repeat them, but I am happy to say that I did hit all my social media goals for 2016!

  • Facebook 500
  • Twitter 2000
  • Instagram 600
  • Pinterest 600

I had an amazing year. I built some strong relationships, worked with some terrific brands and learned a lot.

For this year I wanted to go a little bit of a new direction. I wanted to think of all the things I want to do and all the big projects I wanted to accomplish each month. That being said from now on my monthly goals post will include a monthly objective.

This may change because as we know, life happens but here are my large monthly goals:

January– Get The Balanced Side Hustle Up website up/ List Building

February– Create a free video course

March– Launch Month

April– Create Facebook Group

May– Launch free teachable course

June– 2nd launch / Blogher 17

July– List Building Month

August–  Podcast connections month and Launch DiaDarling.com

September– Content Heavy Month- Guest posts and creating copy for launch month.

October– 3rd Launch

November– E-book

December– List building Month

Annual Social Media Goals:

Facebook Group: 200

Instagram: 1700

Pinterest: 1200

Twitter: 5000

Facebook Fan Page: 700

So with these yearly goals, I would subtract the current amount and divide it by 12 to see how much growth I need for each month. Having large goals is great but breaking them up into small chunks makes them more attainable.

For example Facebook Fan Page 700 goal – 522 current = 178 for the year so roughly 14 a month to hit 700 by the end of the year.

Other Goals:

  • Launch The Balanced Side Hustle
  • Start the 2nd form of content (think video or audio)
  • Attend Blogher 17 in Orlando
  • Work with more amazing people and brands.
  • Publish 76 blog posts.


January 2017 Goals

Objective: Launch TheBalancedSideHustle.com (this won’t be the full course, the official launch date is March 6th. I was hoping to launch February 27th, but I had family and social obligations heavily in February and wanted to give the launch and you guys my full attention.

Personal Goals

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Continue working on Launch Your Signature Course!
  • Finish the articles for my feature in All Things Trend Magazine!
  • Have 536 Facebook page likes
  • Have 3148 Twitter Followers
  • Have 1115 Instagram Followers
  • Have 966 Pinterest Followers
  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library
  • Post at least 4 times this month
  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.
  • Crush the webinar I have scheduled this month.
  • Do one guest post or contributor article.

Health and Fitness

  • Walk 7,000 steps a day
  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.
  • Lose 5 pounds. I won’t put my weight but I started a new fitness program and am excited about it. (More details to come.)

Starting the year off strong with over 1500 words, lots of goals and lots of plans. I hope you are excited to take this journey with me.

Thank you to all my wonderful friends (cyber and real life) for being there for me this year (too many to name),  thank you to Jenn from HomeByJenn.com for being the kick in the pants I need and a constant source of motivation, thank you to all the women I’ve learned so much for over the past year, Mariah Coz, Megan Minns, Melyssa Griffin, Maya Elious , Krista Rae, Brittney Lynn and Meera Kothand to name a few, and to all the people who take the time to read my blog, comment, connect and make my day. So much love your way! I hope 2017 is a beautiful year for all of the you.

Now tell me, what do you have on deck for 2017? What do you want to accomplish? What was your biggest accomplishment in 2016? Let me know in the comments.

Top 10 Posts Of 2016

Disclosure: Posts on AllTheThingsIDo.com contain affiliate links. For more information see policy.

Last year when I did my yearly wrap-up of top 10 posts, I discovered three things. First that it was fun to go back and see what posts people enjoyed and how they matched up to my personal favorites. Second, I got a very good idea of what kind of content my readers wanted in 2016. Third I realized this was an excellent way to introduce top posts to newer readers who may have missed them.

This year was crazy, not just for me but for America in general so without further ado let’s jump right in.

7 Ways to Rock Being Maid of Honor

This was a post I made when trying to figure out what to do for my best friend’s wedding. I’d been maid of honor before the summer before my senior year of high school and to tell the truth, I don’t feel like I crushed it. I mean I was 17, so bars and strippers were out lol I was also working at Sonic Drive-In, so I didn’t exactly have “Money to Blow.” I’ve known Karen since the first day of high school, and her family was like my family and vice versa.  I wanted to make sure I covered all my basis, and she had a fantastic time. This list compiles the things you are expected to do as maid of honor and tips to make it easier.

Spring Cleaning Your Phone

You can “spring clean,” your phone year around. My mom was taking pictures at Christmas after finally getting everyone up and ready to take them and about two photos in says, “Oh wait I have to delete some stuff. I’m out of memory.” This happened to me all the time before I got a memory card, started doing daily backups and routinely running through the list in this post to keep things manageable. It was just a few ideas to make extra space on your phone and get rid of digital clutter.

8 Things Bloggers Wish Their Friends Knew

This was probably my first post ever to go, “viral.” It wasn’t an instruction piece or a giveaway; I think a lot of people just really related to it. I think many bloggers read it and thought, “Oh wow, this is me!” Which is a great feeling when you read something. Knowing that other people relate to or understand what you are going through or feeling is something everyone wants. I’m not saying I wrote a groundbreaking piece of literature; I just spoke the truth about my personal experience and what I wish my friends understood.

How to Design Your Blogger Business Card

I got my blogger business cards back when I decided to attend Blogher 15. I had no idea what to expect, but I remember thinking that it was a good idea to have them. Growing up I had this thought that business cards might have been the sign of a serious professional. Yeah, I understand that now anyone with a printer or $20 can make business cards, but they just always made me think, “Oh you fancy.”  When I decided to create mine I had no idea what to put on them.  I didn’t want to go to New York and hand out my personal phone number to every Tom Dick and Harry, I certainly didn’t want to give them my address. So that’s kind of how this post came out, I wanted to help other people who might be trying to figure it all out.

7 Reasons Visitors Aren’t Becoming Subscribers

This was one of those posts that resulted from me examining what was going on in my email list. I also took a second to think about the things I found kept me from signing up for other bloggers’ email lists. This was kind of a post I was scared to hit, “publish” on. I mean I felt confident in what I was saying, but I knew there was a chance for backlash from people asking, “Who was I to make these claims?” The post didn’t stem from a place of, “Oh I’m the ultimate authority of email lists and queen of list building,”…no definitely not. Ha ha. It came from, oh I see these annoyances a lot, or I’ve made these stupid mistakes.  

5 Things You Need to Accept If You’re a Blogger

I wrote about the different things I’ve had to accept during my time as a blogger. I’ve had to work hard to grow a thicker skin since really deciding that my blog was going to be a part of a business and not just an online lifestyle journal. There are little things I remind myself when I see a mean comment or feel like I am putting too much on myself. I thought the funniest thing was I got a few responses like, “I’d say these are things you’d have to accept if you’re a writer, not just bloggers.” That’s entirely true, and bloggers are writers, but I was writing this for bloggers specifically. The funny thing about the human expense is a lot of things apply to a lot of people without trying. Hopefully, anyone who felt that way at least accomplished the feeling that they are not alone in these struggles.

5 Times You’ll Be Happy You Said No

Written later in the year I have no doubt that if I had written it earlier in the year, it would be a lot higher on the list. The amount of love I got from this post was heart touching. There was a big campaign for saying “Yes,” for a while, and I think it’s great but in that it seemed that once again, “no,” became a dirty word. I wanted to take a moment just to remind people it’s okay to say no and that sometimes it’s actually for the best for everyone involved.

Blogger Facebook Groups 101

So this is the first post I needed to take a second and review because to be totally honest, the details had escaped me. Well looking at my tips for not going crazy in the whole Facebook group world I still feel pretty on point with these. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed in Facebook groups Looking at my Facebook profile; I’m in 18 different groups. That number makes me want to do a social media purge. I feel like other people may have this little-overwhelmed feeling as well so it makes sense that other bloggers ought to give it a read and see what advice I have.

10 Tips For A Better Night Sleep

So I have a long history of sleep issues. I think it all started when my now ex-boyfriend was working in Afghanistan. Those issues never entirely went away. I start trying any and everything to deal with it because we all know how horrible the effects of not enough sleep can be.When I got the opportunity to try ZzzQuil, it seemed like the perfect time to put together a collection of the things that worked best.

Why You Need to Update Old Blog Posts

While it is true that it is better to be done than it is to be perfect, that doesn’t mean you can’t come back and improve later on. We work so hard on our blogs and content why not get every drop of awesome, connection building and marketing out of it as possible? This post shares little ways you can update your posts to improve them, get new eyes on them and be sure they follow the direction you want your blog to take.


I published a lot of articles and blog posts this year. I got the opportunity to work with several brands, and I really feel like I found my voice more. Feel free to check out any of the posts mentioned above that caught your eye.

Now tell me, do you check to see which posts got the most love at the end of the year? Did your findings shock you?