25 Powerful Ways to Say No (and Gain More Confidence)
Are you a recovering people pleaser? Do you often say yes to things you really don’t want to do because you’ll feel bad or for fear of what someone will think if you say no? Do you have trouble saying NO? Are you ready for some powerful ways to say no? In this article, I’m sharing 25 powerful ways to say no and 4 standard response templates you can have on hand.
I’m also sharing the 4 unhealthy personality types to watch out for, so you don’t get caught up in their stories. When you say NO to the wrong things, you make room for the right YES’s that are in alignment with your purpose, passion, and interests.When you say NO to the wrong things, you make room for the right YES’s that are in alignment with your purpose, passion, and interests. Click To Tweet
Here are my 25 Powerful Ways to Say NO Graciously and Gain More Confidence:
- I’m unable to commit to that right now.
- I really appreciate you asking me, however, I’m unable to do xxx.
- I’m going to say no for now. I’ll let you know if that changes.
- I’m honored that you would ask me, however, my answer is no.
- I understand you really need my help but I’m just not able to say yes to that.
- I appreciate you thinking of me but I’m not the right person for this.
- This isn’t in line with my goals or priorities right now.
- I appreciate your time, but no thank you.
- Thanks for thinking of me, but I have too much on my plate right now.
- No thanks!
- Not today, thanks.
- Not for me, thanks.
- I’m afraid I can’t.
- I’m not really into [subject/topic], but thanks for asking!
- I’d rather not, thanks.
- I think I’ll pass.
- Say no followed by BECAUSE…
- I’m afraid that I won’t have time to contribute to____ , but I know (insert name and task) perhaps you could ask her? Only use this if the other person really is a good fit. Don’t use it to throw someone else under the bus.
- It’s a shame – I’d love to help but I’m already committed to [X thing]. Best of luck!
- I know that sucks – but I can’t, I’m sorry.
- I wish I could help with your project, but I’m swamped this week.
- I’m flattered but no thank you.
- Ummmm, no.
- I know this isn’t the answer you are looking for but…
- Sorry, I can’t come—it’s our policy to have dinner together as a family every Sunday night.
Four Standard ‘NO’ responses:
As you practice saying no, here are four ways you can have standard responses ready:
- I have a policy… Some examples of this in action include: I have a policy of never lending money or I have a policy of never missing family commitments.
- Because… When you preface your response with a reason, you are actually helping the other person agree with you and understand.
- Offer alternatives If the general topic is something you are passionate about or want to contribute to, just not in the way you were asked, you can offer an alternative way to help.
- Have a go-to phrase that will handle most things. An example of this is: Thank you for thinking of me. I’m sorry. I have other commitments then, so I’m not available.
Things You Are Saying YES to When You Say NO to the Wrong Things:
- You’re saying “yes” to spending more quality time with your friends, loved ones, and family instead of doing something you don’t want to do.
- You’re saying “yes” to maintaining your sanity and sacred “me time,” and for making time for the interests and passions that matter most to you.
- You’re saying “yes” to living a more relaxed, authentic life that is centered around the things that matter most.
- You’re saying “yes” to the right things that are in alignment with your life. Saying no without guilt requires you to really think about what you stand for. Why are you saying no? As you learn to eliminate unwanted obligations from your life, what are you making room for? When you can identify and embrace your priorities and focus on what you want more of, you feel more comfortable saying no.
I wrote an article you can check out here about my lessons learned about Shonda Rhimes’ book, “The Year of Yes,” as it has some valuable nuggets about when it’s good to say yes! Here’s another great article about saying yes the sexy, crazy way.
One thing that helps me stay focused on the right things is my non-negotiable list. Here’s my list to help inspire you to create your own list.
Four Personality Types to Watch Out For
If you are a people pleaser, trust me when I say that these personality types know it and they will capitalize on this weakness to get what they want. Here’s what to watch out for and how to respond:
- Bully: The bully keeps insisting that you do the thing he/she wants you to do and is even mean or aggressive. Keep your cool and don’t react to his/her aggressive tone.
- Complimenter: The complimenter may start by telling you how amazing you are at something, or how smart you are, and then will ask you for help with a certain task. Don’t let flattery get to you and agree to do something just because you’re being told how amazing you are at something.
- Guilter: The guilter will try to make you feel guilty by telling you that you never Calmly remind the person of the times that you have helped and deny the request.
- Whiner: The whiner can (and will) keep complaining about how hard something is until you break down and agree to help without even being asked. Instead, either change the subject, avoid contact with that person, or simply say you’re sorry that the person is having such a hard time without agreeing to help.
PERSONAL TAKE ACTION CHALLENGE:
Find something you said YES to that you really wanted to say NO to and SAY NO! If that’s a stretch, you can practice saying no to strangers. There’s almost always an opportunity to say yes or no when shopping (everyone’s got their savings cards, a % off if you get their credit card, etc.).
If you have trouble procrastinating, here’s a good article with 4 tips to help overcome this habit!
Comment below on what you will or did say no to. What’s your favorite way to say no? Let us know in the comments below. If this article served you, we appreciate your sharing this out on your favorite social media platforms.
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