How to Say No - The Best Way to Just Say No

by katiem2

Having trouble saying no? Do you find yourself getting stuck doing things you really don't want? Learn the simple fool proof way to say no.

Have you committed to doing something you shouldn't yet again? Once the yes falls out of your mouth does an instant twinge of regret begin to swallow you up? Over time regret grows bigger and bigger and with it resentment rears its ugly head causing tempers to flare.

There is no reason to say yes to request you are unsure of or absolutely and without a doubt do not want to do. Follow along as we explore the many ways to say no. You can and will simply take a pass on request without the feelings of grief or remorse. In fact, you will feel amazing, empowered and free!

Truth be told, you may have developed a reputation for saying yes. Ask yourself this; who do others ask when they want something done, the busiest person they know, aka the one who always says yes. If you're a yes person it's in your own best interest and well being to end the unhealthy cycle of saying yes, feeling overwhelmed and flat out being taken for granted.

A Reputation for Saying Yes

Limit Yes from Your Vocabulary!

You are not obligated to say yes to every request! 

Most of us get ourselves into things we want nothing to do with, not to mention the lack of time available to follow through on such task with a joyful heart.  Taking on unwanted events, jobs and responsibilities creates the desire to kick ourselves as we try to come up with an out or get it done. This is a bad situation and one you can and should avoid. First, understand you are not obligated to say yes. Passing on request will not make you unpopular or disliked, in fact it will do the opposite, you will be admired and respected for being confident and in charge of your own schedule. 

Stop Automatically Saying YES!

There are those commitments to your partner, children and other family members that are legitimate obligations. However, family members are the largest group of folks taking advantage of you. Family members may be zapping the life out of you more so than you know.

A Job for Everyone and Everyone Doing Their JOB!

Divide and Conquer Household Chores and Responsibilities

Think About What Others Are and Are NOT Doing!

Children should be learning and conquering life skills early on in their development. Many parents and older siblings fall into the trap of doing instead of teaching creating expectation for younger children.  Why, because at the time it seems to be the faster option getting you and everyone else on with the day.  It is better to teach the children and or siblings to do these task on the weekend or other downtime.  When they fail to follow through and ask you to do it gently remind them, "it is your job to do this and when you don't you must do without."  It is amazing how quick they learn to just do it! 

Today we cover the simple strategies to avoid the dreaded yes responses replacing them with a confident no.

You Cannot Do It ALL!   BOTTOM LINE, if you teach and make it clear you expect certain task of certain family members they are more likely to do it instead of putting it at your feet. If they do not follow through or ask you to do it DON'T!  Eventually they will get it and do it!

The Best Way to Say No

The Many Ways to Say No

The most vital step to saying no successfully is to break free from the reputation of being an easy mark.  How?  It's easy, you just say no, more on the how later in this article.

People are creatures of habit just as you have developed the habit of saying yes with a knee jerk response, others have formed the expectation of receiving an easy yes from you. These people get lazy and comfortable passing off undesirable task to you, the yes person. 

Get yourself off the list bit by bit.  Saying no is hard for many people, it is for this reason you need a go to list of things to say other than no.   HOW To SAY NO!

  • My schedule does not permit me to take on anything more.
  • I am overwhelmed as it is, I can't take on one more thing.
  • No thank you! In a are you serious sort of tone.
  • I have to take a pass this time.

The Simple Guide on How to Say No

Break the Doormat Cycle

Okay, so you've landed yourself on the short list of everyone in your circle.  

It is easy to get off this list and that's exactly what you are about to do.  

Investing a few minutes into your how to say no strategy will save you countless hours doing unwanted task. 

How to Stop Saying Yes

Just Say NO!

Easy Steps to Stop Saying Yes - How to Get Off the List

When anyone, asks you to do something you...pause (thinking) and then ask, "what is it you are asking me to do, not sure I follow ?"

Note: Doing this does two things, lets them know you're giving it careful thought plus they must rethink their request. This puts them on the spot, not you!  

This simple act moves you from the top of their yes list and onto not so easy yes list.  The manner you answered the request is different, makes the person asking think twice about the request, which is typically not something they would expect of you. 

Once you are no longer the easy yes, people think twice about asking you and soon stop altogether.  After all, now you are asking them to explain themselves and it just doesn't sound as valid the second time around.

How to Say NO

Free Yourself

Stand Your Ground
As they repeat the request look intently at them, maintain an inquisitive look, this puts the pressure  on them and no longer you!   Once they've explained pause, look away as if in thought, turn back to them asking, "when, and where"?  

Once more they again are in the hot seat.  Once they tell you the date or when they need it done, you simply say, "No, can't", quickly divert your attention to something else in a very matter of fact manner. 

This is the simple magic and power of saying a successful no.  You asked good questions, took the request into careful consideration and realized you cannot do it. 

The person making the request has no recourse. Rarely do you get further questions as to why you can't. If so ignore them, by now you are focused on doing something else, gave them a fair shot and its final.

If they persist ask, "Oh sorry were you saying something to me?"  Act confused after all you answered NO, why would they ask again, you owe them no further explanation, is this a new topic?   

The key is to train people and get off the yes list.  Be as short and sweet as you can sticking to the simple conversation techniques outlined above.  

Like my grandfather always says, "If it ain't worth doing right, it ain't worth doing at all"!  If you're not totally into it you will not do it fully or with a glad heart, just stick to the no.  You're going to love how good this feels.


Just Say NO!

Lion and a Lioness Standing Face to Face in a Forest, Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro, Tanzania
Updated: 03/17/2018, katiem2
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Do you have a problem saying no? Share your stories of getting stuck doing things you did not want to do.

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katiem2 on 05/28/2013

Audrey Hunt, Hi girl, good to see you here, Gardenbella's suggestion is a great tip for unwanted house guest.

Audrey Hunt on 05/28/2013

Hi Katie - I've always had a hard time saying no. I'm going to use Gardenbella's suggestion.

katiem2 on 05/27/2013

Gardenbella, Oh what a great way to say no or rather not say no. Thanks

Gardenbella on 05/27/2013

I've found one of the most effective ways to turn someone down by not saying no. No generally gives people an opportunity to argue with you or try to convince you to say yes. I just simply say, "that doesn't work for me, but thanks for asking:" There is no place for them to go after that statement. I've been using it for years and it is a lot less stressful than trying to convince someone you aren't available.

katiem2 on 02/02/2013

Blake, Thank you I feel it is as well.

Blake on 02/02/2013

Very practical advice!

katiem2 on 01/02/2013

Ed, I understand and realize what a kind person you are however kind people can say NO too and be just as kind to themselves as they are to others. We'll work on that :)K

Pam on 12/22/2012

I get myself into so many situations where in I should have said no, you are so right it should be easy and guiltless to just say no

katiem2 on 11/20/2012

Mike, Glad to have helped you come to know how easy it can be to say no.

teddletonmr on 11/20/2012

Very important lesson to learn, I myself am guilty of being a helpaholic, I have a hard time saying no even when I need to. Going to keep this close to remind me just how easy it is to simply just say no.

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