Simple Tips on How to Say 'NO' to People

A simple guide to saying ‘NO’ politely

You may be the most “put together” or a “with it” person for your friends but this doesn’t mean you have to be agreeable always. In life, saying ‘NO’ in various situations is consequential. We often feel guilty after turning down someone or refusing to do something we don’t want to. But, we should not! Whether it is friends, loved ones or acquaintances, if you are not willing to do something, you have all the right to resist it. Many a times, we even defy ourselves from saying “NO” and go against our will to make other people happy. Instead of doing this, you need to take care of yourself first. Remember, sometimes, taking the hard way is necessary. The more you practice it, the better you become on it.

If you don’t know how to say no to people in the simplest possible way then read on and find out.

Use the word “NO”

The word ‘NO’ is a statement in itself. Use it when you are unequivocably sure about something you are unwilling to do. Practice saying this word and don’t let the guilt overpower you. Afterall, prioritising oneself is not being selfish. ‘Not at this time’, ‘not now’, ‘no, I don’t want to’, ‘no, I will not be able to’, ‘may be next time’ are some sentences which can be used to refuse in the best polite way possible.

Don’t beat around the bush

Do not offer weak excuse or hem and haw around. Simply, gather all your courage and say it. Be clear and firm that you have other priorities instead of feeling guilty. Do not fabricate lies and exhaust yourself in knitting a web of palatable lies. Rather, simply say that you are unavailable due to some prior commitments. Period.

Give a valid reason

In case you really don’t want to leave the person bewildered, provide them with a valid reason. Avoid lying to them as this can make them perplexed because of many conflicting statements. Speak the truth and tell them the right reason for your unavailability.

Do not exaggerate

Try to add a reason to your decision but do not elaborate. The more you exaggerate or explain yourself, the more doubtful you become. It seems like you are intentionally befooling them. Worse still, it gives them a window for negotiation and also a workaround to try and make you say yes.

Empathise and refuse

Sometimes, validation is extremely necessary to convince. You are aware of the depth of the situation so act accordingly. Empathise with the person and agree that the present situation is horrible but do not forget to say assertively that you are unable to cooperate. It is a safe bet.

Offer an alternate if possible

If you can’t extend a helping hand to a person but want to maintain a positive relationship, try to offer an alternate if that goes your way. You can surely lessen the impact of your saying no this way. Do something that is more preferable to you instead of going out of your way to help someone.

Remind yourself you are important

Always consider that you are important than the other person. In case you are trapped in a situation where it is you vs them, remember that your happiness is a priority. You should always try to please yourself first. Give more time to yourself and concentrate on what brings pleasure to your soul. Don’t get this disease to please.

Be intent and assertive

Do not feel compelled because the other person is a close friend. If you have decided that you don’t want to do something do not be too promising. Be clear, sympathetic but also determined. Don’t be overly apologetic and defensive; also don’t feel pressurised.

Prioritise your work and yourself

Remember that whatever you choose should be solely your decision. In case you can’t go for a new commitment because of your schedule, say it. Include your own time for relaxation, rejuvenation, and self-care. Understand that it is not necessary to get worn out while being good to others.

You are a human, learn to accept your flaws and embrace yourself. Here’s a quote to begin with self-love – “Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.”

Related Link:

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Simple Tips on How to Say 'NO' to People
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Simple Tips on How to Say 'NO' to People
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We often feel guilty after refusing to do something we don't want to. So, here are some tips on how to say 'NO' to people in the simplest possible way.
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