I recently heard this wonderful bit of advice when dealing with setting boundaries: “No” is a complete response.
For such a simple sentence, it’s quite a complex idea.
Most of us learn to be apologetic and always have a reason ready if we need to say no. We are taught not to be rude, and to let people down easy. It causes a lot of anguish coming up with an excuse for saying no.
Usually our polite excuses just get dismissed anyway, because well, frankly, they’re lame. All the while, this offering up an excuse for saying no keeps the focus of value on the other person’s feelings, with little regard for your own.
Your feelings matter too. Your boundaries matter. If you want to say no, just say no.
“No” is a complete response. Period.