Saying NO With Confidence

Dec 17, 2019

Life is tough as a people pleaser. Having to say no is one of the most unnatural things to do because at the heart of everything, we want to help and support others in our lives. Sometimes though, it’s just not possible or realistic for us to do so.

Often we say yes to people out of obligation, fear of disappointing or simply because we feel we should. At times we let other people’s agendas and priorities railroad our own just to avoid feeling these things. It’s like we would rather say yes to someone else rather than to ourselves {#ouch} and let’s be frank (because you know I love Frank) when we say yes to someone else when we don’t want to, what we are really doing is saying no to ourselves {#truthbomb} and somehow, we reason that that’s a better thing to do. Argh.

Sometimes we have to just say no.

Even if it feels difficult. Even when we feel we have let someone down. Even when we are soooo sick that we couldn’t possibly have said yes anyway. It’s tough sometimes.
I’m still learning to say no. It’s something that we as givers need to practice. There are so many reasons why we sometimes have to say no and below you’ll see that I’ve grouped my suggestions according to those reasons. But here lies a little advice for when it comes to saying the big NO.

  • You don’t always have to offer an explanation
  • You don’t always have to negotiate
  • You don’t always have to do whatever it is that is being asked of you
  • You have PERMISSION to be true to yourself and to say no if you need to. Here are 50 ways to say no…..

Key Takeaways

Reason: When you just don’t want to
Oh look, is that a kangaroo???
Dang, I would have loved to! Sorry.
Not today
Sorry I can’t help/come. It’s not my thing
Sorry, no can do
N to the O
Thanks, but I’ll have to pass on that
Hell no

Reason: When you’re overloaded, overwhelmed & over committed
I’m not able to do that for you today
I can’t help you this time
Not this time, sorry
I’m getting slammed right now
There isn’t enough wine in the world…
If I had a clone, I could!
I’m not taking on any more commitments right now
I wish I could make it work, but I can’t right now
I can’t make that work
It’s not feasible for me to take this on

Reason: When you’re flattered, but you just can’t
Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I can’t
Maybe another time. I can’t commit to that right now
I’m overcommitted right now, but maybe another time
It’s not a good idea for me right now
I won’t be able to help
I can’t dedicate the time you need right now
I’m honoured you’ve asked, but I can’t

Reason: When it’s not in alignment with your current focus or priorities
That doesn’t fit in with my current plans/goals
Thank you for asking but that’s not going to work for me right now
This doesn’t sound like a good fit for me right now
My current priorities are….
I only say yes to things that are in alignment with my current focus. This isn’t
I’m actually trying to focus on *this* right now

Reason: When you know you’re not the BEST person to help them
I can’t help you this time but *this person* can
I can’t help you this time but have you tried *this resource*
I don’t have those skills, I’m sorry I can’t help
I know someone who would be perfect for this…
I’m not sure I’m the right person for this
I’m not the person you’re looking for

Reason: When you’re already booked
I’m not available
I can’t because I already have *this important thing*
Not this time
Regrettably, I’m not able to help you on that day
I already have a commitment at that time
Apologies, I can’t make it
Thanks for asking. I can’t, but can you let me know next time it’s on?

Reason: When you really want to help, but can’t do exactly what they’ve asked of you
I can’t help you with that, but I can do *this* for you instead
Regrettably, I’m not able to help you
I’m not the right person for this, sorry
I can’t help you but have you tried *this thing*?
I would need to investigate how to do this. Have you tried asking *this person*?

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