How To Say No

Do you often find yourself agreeing to things at home or at work that you simply don’t have the energy, time or mental capacity to take on?

Until recently I found myself helping everyone. I’d try and do everything. Please everyone. An unsurprisingly in the end, everyone was happy – except me!

That was at least until I learnt how to say no. This one syllable word is so difficult to say for so many of us. Yet, it’s so empowering and can completely transform our lives. Which is why today I’m dedicating an entire post on; How to say no.

Start With Why

Mentally explain to yourself why you’re saying no to this person. Are they a constant source of stress in your life? Are they unappreciative? Unsupportive? Do they provide you with any value in return? Have you more pressing issues to deal with? 

We often find that if we struggle to say no, others can take advantage of our kindness. So remember, you are in control of your life – not others. You decide what tasks to accept, meeting to attend or activities to participate in during your free time.



Be Honest

Be honest as to your reasoning behind saying no.

If (or more than likely when) you’re caught lying it’s not only embarrassing to yourself, but it can have negative repercussions on your relationship with that person. It’s also likely to lead to a feeling of guilt. Not because you’ve said no, but because you’ve lied. 

Don’t be afraid to justify your reasoning as personal development / personal space time. Anyone who truly cares about you as a person will appreciate your honesty, and your reasoning and wont expect you to stretch beyond your means. 

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Be Firm, But Polite

Finding the balance between politely declining a request whilst also being firm to avoid being pushed into an answer we didn’t want to give is difficult. Often starting with a thank you, and following up with your answer is a great way to balance the conversation.

I’m sorry but I really can’t take on anything else at the moment.

Thank you for thinking of me. I’m quite busy right now. Perhaps another time.

I’d love to be able to help you out, but I just don’t feel up to it at the moment.

Unfortunatly, I don’t need a new roof (double glazing, vacuum cleaner etc). I’m happy with what I have thank you.

This Doesn’t Make You A Bad Person

Finally, remember. Saying no doesn’t mean that you are being rude, selfish or unkind. 

A lot of the reasoning as to why we struggle with how to say no comes from our childhood. When we were younger we’re taught by our elders that saying no was inappropriate and that saying yes is the correct and polite thing to say.

Now we’re adults, we’re mature and able to make our own decisions. As well as knowing the difference between right and wrong. Therefore answering no shouldn’t be a word that’s off limits. Instead it should be something which we decide on ourselves based on our own discretion.