10 Quick Tips on Saying No

September 27, 2021

If you're a hardcore people pleaser like myself, you'll know how terrifying and anxiety inducing it is to say "no" to someone. It sucks to be refused something and to be told "no", so of course many of us hate the idea of causing that same disappointment in another person and feeling the waves of resentment they may have towards us.

The guilt you feel stems from years of being indirectly taught and socialised to put others first; to share your toys, be kind to one another and treat others as you wish to be treated. Whilst that's all very idealistic and lovely, the needs of others can sometimes conflict with and compromise your aspirations and boundaries. What happens when you plan to have a relaxing self care day or go for a run after work and a friend asks you to go for dinner or a coworker asks for help on a project? Do you prioritise their needs and wants or your own? Some days you have to say "No". I understand that is easier said than done, so I've put together some tips and advice that I've really come to rely on for when I need to have one of those awkward conversations.

Here are 10 Quick Tips on Saying 'No'

  1. Plan what you're going to say ahead of time
  2. Keep it simple and brief
  3. Give yourself plenty of time to make a decision
  4. You don't need to supply reasons or excuses
  5. Reschedule for another time if that works better
  6. Soften it with a compliment
  7. Be prepared for a bad reaction
  8. Remind yourself of your values and beliefs
  9. Offer an alternative you're comfortable with
  10. Be proud of yourself for saying no

It's not going to be fun, but it will get easier with practise! The more you learn to say no and make your boundaries clear, the better you be and calmer you'll feel when saying no.

More in-depth tips and advice

Post by a member of the Feelmo team.

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