The need to please people is ingrained in us. It is a basic human need to be liked and loved. In our hearts, we also want to please and make everyone around us happy. But at the end of the day, we need to learn, and live by, the saying 'you could be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who hates peaches'. Or in simple words, you can't make everyone happy. But you can make you happy. And that might, sometimes, include saying 'no' to things you don't want to do. So if you can't bear to disappoint people or have a constant need to say yes, here are some simple ways you can say 'no' to people and things, without feeling too guilty about it.
You need to know why you're saying no to something. Once you're convinced by your reason, only then will you be firm enough to say a simple 'no'. If you aren't sure about your answer, you wouldn't be able to turn down the other person.
Don't beat around the bush. Don't take your time. In this case, ripping off the band-aid is your best, and only, option. The more excuses you make, the weaker your case will be. Provide a brief explanation and leave it at that. Being confident while saying it will put a stop to further probing!
This is one of the most powerful tools and will really help you. When you're saying no to somebody else, you're saying yes to yourself. What do I mean by that? Well, when you say no to doing some extra work, that wasn't even your responsibility anyway, you are saying yes to the much needed 'me' time!
...but not apologetic. You need to turn the other person down politely but firmly! However, apologising unnecessarily will only make it seem like it is your fault and make you lose credibility. That wasn't the goal, was it now?
Know and acknowledge your boundaries and be honest about what you can accept and what you can't. If you let anyone toy with your boundaries, you give them the permission to do it again and again. So make a list of hard nos from the start. Once they know what you are okay with and what isn't going to fly, they'll be sure to not put you in a situation like that ever again.
One of the simplest tricks is to hold up a mirror. Not literally, though! Doing your friend a favour is fine. But doing something for a person who wouldn't do the same for you might not be a great idea. We're all for selfless good deeds but you need to know where to draw the line. You don't want to end up draining yourself.
Selfishness is when you put your wants above others' needs but self-love is when you choose your needs over other people's wants. Saying no can be a great practice for self-love. Don't want to go out on a Saturday? Say no! Can't handle your boyfriend's constant demands? Say no! Cannot work on a particular weekend because of prior commitments? Say no!