Great ways to SAY NO to people

Do you have difficulty saying no to people? Saying no can be challenging, especially when you don’t want to disappoint someone close to you.

Some of us are people pleasers and put other people’s needs ahead of our own. The thing is if you want to accomplish big things in your life you can’t live your life to accommodate other people’s agendas. You to need to make your life a priority and respect your own time and boundaries.

There are pests who refuse to take no for an answer and keep coming back and trying for a yes. It can be intimidating to say no to the person who asks if you are afraid of confrontation. What you can do is have a few great comebacks ready to say no, so you are prepared the next time you are asked to do something you don’t want to do.

Jack was working with Raoul on a university project. They planned to work remotely to get the project written up and finished. On the day they planned to work, Raoul did not respond to texts or phone calls until 10 p.m. He called Jack and started dictating what he needed to do on the project all night even though he had done nothing all day.

Jack knew that this was how Raoul rolled, and he had enough of doing all of the work on the project. When Raoul called that night, Jack had five ways to say no planned out and told him in that he was not going to do his work for him.

Here are a few fun ways to say no that should get your point across.


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Awesome ways to say no to someone

1. I can’t help you with that right now but thanks for asking.

2. No means no now let it go.

3. I am not sure if I can. I will get back to you.

4. I never do X on days that end in “Y.”

5. The answer is no, now please go.

6. I would rather stick needles in my eyes. Or your eyes.

7. What part of the word no do you not understand?

8. A yes would be the slow withering death of my soul.

9. No, I’m staying home to work on my cottage cheese sculpture.

10. I’d rather remove my own gallbladder with an oyster fork.

Why do some people have trouble saying no?

N.O. These are just two simple letters that seem like that one word that cannot be uttered.

Whether it’s a party that you don’t want to attend or a job opportunity that you can’t handle, we all had our share of struggles in voicing the negative of the alternative.

Most of the time, we are in a bind to opt for a warmer default response of saying, “YES.” While that’s completely fine, it quickly turns for the worse if by “agreeing,” you burn out and lose your balance.

You can’t keep doing what other people want — what about your own wants? Your genuine opinion matters too.

So, why do we think that NO is such an evil word that cannot be spoken?

Here are the 5 common reasons.

1. Fear of rejection

Do you know why the fear of rejection is so powerful? Some minds operate thinking that being rejected means not being good enough.

In a fast-paced society where comparisons are easily made, not measuring up to standards becomes a personal failure.

We’re living in a “YES” culture, where you’re expected to say “YES” to almost everything that comes pummeling your way.

By saying “NO,” you’re going against the status quo and risk not being liked by others.

2. Desire to please others 

So, you don’t really want to accept the invitation to your friend’s planned vacation because you’re not interested. You said “YES” anyway…why? You have the desire to please your friend.

By rejecting the invitation, you’ll be disappointing your friend and perhaps, others too. Thus, it makes utter sense that you’re giving in, even if it goes against what you really want.

3. Guilt or obligation

Have you ever been in a situation where you can’t say “NO” to a favor because someone helped you with something big in the past? Now, you’re obligated to return the gesture and have to agree on anything.

People have trouble saying “NO” because they’re being guilt-tripped into doing it, whether or not it’s by intention.

So, even if it’s not your desired plan or goal, the guilt that you feel over dismissing an obligation keeps you from declining.

4. Lack of assertiveness

You received a sudden phone call from your manager asking you to fill in a shift on your supposed rest day. You don’t want to, because you’ve made plans.

However, you can’t think of a fast excuse to say “NO,” to the request. So, you agreed to do it, with a heavy heart.

Many of us lack the skill to be assertive, too terrified to stir conflict with anyone. We therefore nod into submission and spend hours doing things we don’t want to do.  

Whether it’s your boss, mother, husband, kids or colleagues, you just can’t seem to say “NO”. You avoid making them angry because if you refuse, you threaten the bonds that you have with them; love, support and favour.

5. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) 

Again, we thrive in a “YES” culture. This means that if you want to get ahead in life, you should be the go-getter who says “YES” to every opportunity.

Conditioned to have this mindset, you believe that saying “NO” is missing out on a chance or experience to get better. Therefore, you choose the alternative because society tricked you into thinking that saying “YES” is the right way to go.

Let’s face it; people don’t like to hear “NO.” Aside from its lack of enthusiasm and can’t-do attitude, it often sounds like an attack on authority or self-worth.

However, you must understand that saying “NO” is a healthy way to set some boundaries and prioritize your well-being. It gives you control over your time and the freedom to have options.

So, if you have trouble saying NO, it helps to practice your assertiveness and communication skills. By being honest, direct and respectful, you can learn not to agree on everything without feeling guilty about it or provoking the situation.

The Role of counselling and self care

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When you are dealing with difficulty saying no to people and you find it stressful, consider getting support from a professional. Talking to a counselor is a great way to work through a challenging situation, and help you find some strategies to work through the person’s behaviour.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home.

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Check out our clever ways to say no to someone

More comebacks you might like

The Role of counselling and self care

I Should Have Said Media will earn a commission after clicking links on this page at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home. 

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Got any comments, questions or tips for saying no to somebody? Share them in the comments below.

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  1. The alphabet is my answer the letters in the alphabet come one after another ready…. a b c d e f g h I j k l m NO p q r s t u v w x y x. Get the answer.

  2. This is a good website!! I love all these! I hope this will help me and my friends from being bullied. Thank you! ??

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