How to say no without being rude or feeling bad

by Lynn
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Are you wondering how to say no without feeling bad about it? Saying no can be uncomfortable but it has to be done. Always remember:

You disrespect yourself every time you say yes when you want to say no. You call it loyalty or love or friendship. Really you’re hoping someone will see how amazing you are and choose you. It shouldn’t work that way. Choose yourself. That’s how you teach them. By choosing you


Have you ever ended up in an uncomfortable situation that could have been avoided by just saying no? So what should you do in such situations? Saying no the wrong way could also ruin relationships. Here are a few tips on how to say no politely:

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Plan Ahead

If you’re not used to saying no, the first couple of times it’s going to be difficult. You might get all nervous and sweaty when saying it, but regardless you have to say it. So one tip of how to say no is to plan ahead. Have prepared statements at hand. Some statements include:

  • I am extremely honored but I can’t
  • Unfortunately now is not a good time
  • It sounds lovely maybe next time I have a commitment

You can adjust some of these to fit into your circumstance.

Say No

When it comes to saying no, don’t beat around the bush or make up fake excuses. Just say no, don’t offer to think about it knowing very well you’re going to say no. The more straightforward you are the better. Just say it in a polite way without coming off as being aggressive.

“Live your life for you, not for anyone else. Don’t let the fear of being judged, rejected, or disliked stop you from being yourself”

Sonya Parker

Keep it simple

When learning how to say no, keep it as simple as you can. Don’t be tempted to explain your reasons for saying no. Just keep it simple by saying something like, thank you but no. Don’t go overboard with explanations. A determined person might push you harder just to get you to say yes based on your explanation.

Be assertive and courteous

When saying no be courteous and assertive at the same time. Make sure even with your brief explanation you still maintain control of the situation. You might say ‘ Sounds like a great opportunity but it’s not a good fit for me now.’ This way you will leave the recipient without the ability to push back while still being courteous at the same time.

Understand peoples’ tactics

Understand and accept the fact that people can be manipulative. Do not let people guilt trip you into saying yes just because they’ve been playing with your psychology. Don’t be forced into making a commitment because of being manipulated into it. Remember to be assertive and stick to your answer.

If a friend or family can’t accept your answer and your stand, they’re probably not your true friend or they don’t respect you. Stand your ground and don’t feel guilty simply because that person is uncomfortable.

Set boundaries

Establish healthy boundaries with people. With healthy boundaries in place, you understand the dynamic of the relationship and your role in it. If you have boundaries in place then saying no will not feel like such a task and you will not have to worry about the consequences of saying no.

RELATED: 10 ways you can set healthy friendship boundaries

Propose an alternative

If you find yourself in a situation where you would have wanted to say yes but you have other commitments, then you can propose an alternative.

Choose You

Put yourself first. Always prioritize your needs over other people. Saying no is a form of self-care. Saying no does not equate to being rejected or being disliked, it means you’re choosing yourself over others. The more you say yes when you want to say no, you will find yourself resenting this person.

“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”

Warren Buffet

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