Many of us fear the word "no" because we don't want to let other people down. But when you're already swamped and your coworker asks you to take an hour to help him with his project report, "Yes, of course" might not be the best answer.
"It might sound a cliché, but saying NO when needed can save you lot of time, confusion, guilt, attachment, commitments, stress and other social evils," writes Yogi Raj.
There's another Quora thread dedicated to learning how to say "no," where Eva Glasrud writes, "we routinely overestimate the cost of saying 'no.'"
According to Glasrud, the best way to muster up the confidence to turn down a request is to recognize that there "are some things you can never have back. Your time, your health, your virtue, your life. Don't mess around with those things. It's fine for people to ask — most likely, in their mind, they're trying to help introduce you to a great person or opportunity or meaningful cause. And it's just as fine for you to say 'no.'"
Empathizing with others
A number of Quora users mentioned the importance of learning to empathize with other people — to listen to them and try to see things from their perspective.
Psychologists say that empathy is a fundamental part of human interaction. In fact, people who lack the ability to empathize and take an interest in other people are often narcissists.