All Women's Talk

7 Ways to Say No That Will Work ...

By Jenae

We know how hard it is to say no sometimes and that's why we're glad Jenae has a few ideas on how to make this easier.

We live in a society that is constantly pulling at us and urging us to over commit. One of the easiest ways to relieve stress is by simply reducing the things you obligate yourself to do, and because saying «No» can be difficult, here are 7 ways you can.

1 Cite a Prior Engagement

If you have a friend or acquaintance requesting your presence or assistance, you can always bow out gracefully by explaining that you already have plans. Don’t go into detail though as this can allow the other person room to work themselves into your schedule.

2 Don’t Pick up the Phone

Although this may seem rude, sometimes avoidance is best. Everyone knows that one person who just doesn’t take the hint. By avoiding their phone call you avoid the situation. If you are plagued by guilt you can always call after with an apology and let the person know you were very busy and are just now able to touch base with them.

3 Be Honest

Honesty is the best policy. If you don’t want to do something, say so. A simple «No, I really don’t want to» or «I’m sorry but I’m not interested» can put an end to the discussion and leave little room for debate. Also this method means no complicated lies to keep track of for future reference.

4 Lie

Yes, this directly contradicts the method before it, but sometimes a lie is the only thing that will do. If you are going to lie, try to do it via email or text so you don’t have to think on your feet. Keep the lie basic and don’t elaborate. Don’t say «the catalytic converter on my car went out» when «my car wouldn’t start» will do.

5 Be Evasive

For those afraid of confrontation, being evasive allows you to skirt around the issue by declining an invitation without ever actually saying «No». Replies such as «That’s sweet of you to ask me, I’ll let you know if I’m interested» and «I’ve never actually thought of that before, when I do I’ll come find you» leave the person extending the invitation with warm fuzzies instead of the cold sting of rejection. Be careful though, some people don’t respond to this rebuff. For those who are extremely persistent, resort to tactic #2.

6 Come Bearing Gifts

Sometimes you have to say no when you really want to say yes due. If you fall into this category, send a gift. Flowers, a card or some small token of appreciation can convey the message that you genuinely wanted to be there but could not. Although these tokens do not replace your presence, it really is the thought that counts, and the thought is you would be there if you could.

7 Compromise

Maybe «NO» isn’t the right answer. Maybe a little give and take will result in a win-win situation for both parties. In these instances, finding the middle ground can often help you venture out of your comfort zone, learn a new skill, or gain new insights about yourself. A fair compromise is reached when both parties leave a little something on the table. If this is the route you are taking don’t come the entire way. Meet in the middle.

Taking a stand and speaking up for yourself can help you take control over your life. Whether that means accepting a request or flexing your «NO» muscle, just be sure you are comfortable with your decision. When was a time you found it difficult to say no?

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