How to Say No

Somewhere along the way no turned out to be a dirty word.

But it isn’t. In fact, no is a gift to yourself to stay focused on the life you really want to live.

No more being resentful, overwhelmed or feeling used.

  • Never say yes right away – Even if that is your inclination. Bide your time. Think it over. Say you will get back to them even if you’re pressured for an immediate response because being pressured is the way others get us to say yes when we really mean no.
  • Ask lots of questions – How much time will it take? Why did you choose me? 
  • What’s the compelling reason to do it? – Absent a compelling reason that resonates for both parties (not just the other person), you have no reason to acquiesce. 
  • After thinking, stick to your decision – Put it in a sentence and keep repeating it every time you’re pressured to reconsider. Example: “After sleeping on it, I realize at this point in my life I cannot commit to that right now”. And if you’re asked 5 times to reconsider, repeat the same simple line 5 more times.

You will make more enemies by agreeing to something that your heart’s not in than if you say simply and honestly – sorry, I cannot do it.

It may take practice because so many of us are pleasers or we are afraid to say no, but once you start using the questions above to work through your hidden feelings, no will be an honest answer not a rejection.

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