How-To Say NO (Guilt Free)

“Let today mark a new beginning for you. Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say NO without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.”
Stephanie Lahart


No is a very powerful word. It can be hard to say at times. Most people hate to disappoint their friends or coworkers, so sometimes they end up doing things they just don’t want to do. I can admit that I am guilty of this, especially in my workplace setting. I am a tad bit of a workaholic and even though I already over-work myself, I pick up even more shifts to help out my fellow coworkers. I always have it in my mind that if I don’t help them out, that they won’t return the favor for when I do need help.

Its human nature to say yes to people. Lots of people are people pleasers and don’t want to let other friends or others down. We want to have friends, we all want to be liked by people, we don’t want to be that lame person who just sits at home all of the time.

When you say no, you shouldn’t feel like you are being rude, lazy, mean or lame. Sometimes you just don’t want to do something, sometimes you just want to yell out NO! I know it is very hard to say NO but I am going to list some ways on how-to do it. Maybe it will help you! If you have any other suggestions on how-to say NO, don’t be afraid to comment.

  1. Use the word NO.
    Pretty self explanatory, use the word NO! Don’t apologize for saying no, don’t use phrases like, “maybe next time” or “I am not sure”. Don’t feel bad for saying no.
  2. Don’t elaborate.
    You shouldn’t have to explain your story if you have other plans or something else going on. For example, a co-worker asks you to pick up your shift but you had planned to do housework on your day off.  Don’t blow off something that is important to you to take their shift. They don’t have to know you are only cleaning your house, just say NO.
  3. Be assertive.
    Stand up straight, use eye contact and speak clearly.
  4. Trust yourself.
    If you know you shouldn’t do something (pick up a shift, go to a movie, drink with friends), trust your gut. Say NO.
  5. Don’t delay.
    If someone texts you, don’t delay when texting them back to give them a response. If you know the answer will be NO, just say that right away. There is no point to create extra pressure on yourself to think about whether or not you should say NO.
  6. Change your mind.
    Just because you said yes once, doesn’t mean that you have to keep saying yes over and over and over again.
  7. Thanks.
    Say thank-you to the co-worker or the friend for thinking of you for wanting to do something. Tell them that there gesture was kind and thoughtful but that you still have to say NO at this point in time.

Use these seven points next time you want to say NO. You may be relieved for saying NO and then you will feel about your answer. What are your thoughts? Will you be able to say NO next time?


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