your best friend asks you to house sit her cats while she is away in Europe. She says it will be just like being at home, so it won't make a difference to you ... but it makes a huge difference not to be in your own home for three weeks
your colleague at works asks you to let her use the marketing research you have been preparing for your annual meeting. You feel small for wanting to say no, after all, it's all for the good of the company, isn't it?
your neighbour asks you to accept a package that will definitely be arriving in the next two hours. She tells you how important it is to her family to have this in time for their get together, but you have a bad feeling when you agree to do it that it might not be two hours, and then you'll be stuck there waiting for the package
your client asks to meet with you at a time that totally encroaches on your family and private down time. You don't want to lose the client, but you also don't think it's right to be put into this position
your not-so-best friend, but good acquaintance, asks you to ask your graphic designer daughter to help him with a design
I'm sure you get the drift. In each example there is a situation that puts you into a place where it might appear that you are being slightly less than considerate and/or generous if you refuse, and yet if you agree, you will probably be kicking yourself in the behind for some time. So what do you do?
You go by your gut. When you have a sinking feeling inside, or when your gut is clenching, it's a clear message to you that there is something not quite right in what is being asked of you. Maybe because it is presumptuous of the other to ask it of you, or maybe simply because you do not want to do it. So you need to say no. It may take some practice, but it's that simple.