Learning To Say No

I have struggled ever since I can remember when it comes to saying “No.” It’s only two letters – why is it so difficult to say?

Well, let me qualify that – I have said “no” to all sorts of thing I think are worthless and harmful – tobacco, getting drunk, drugs, idiots generally, violent entertainment (how does it even exist?) and things that crop up and just seem a ridiculous waste of a life.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

What I struggle to say “no” to….is when someones says, “please can you do this?” or “please can you do that?” or “please can you change your entire routine and schedule to accommodate this?” Especially when the person asking is very polite and makes me feel as if it will be the end of the world if I don’t.

I said “yes” to something the other day, when I actually meant “no”. I told Jack and he asked me, “why did you say yes when you can’t do that?” I have no idea why I said “yes” when I cannot.

Now I have to figure out a way to say, “You know when I said yes, well I actually meant no.” Which is even harder than saying no to begin with!!!

7 thoughts on “Learning To Say No”

  1. As children we are not allowed to say no (to parents or authority figures) and we learn that it pleases them. But as we are older we are not necessarily taught when and how to say no. I was in my 30’s and going to a really good counselor when I learned that I had to learn to say “no”.
    There are many ways to say no without saying “no”. Things like “that doesn’t work with my schedule” or “I’m not the right person for the job” also bargaining “if you do this for me then I can do that for/with you”, consulting – giving the person advice or instructions how to do something or providing the tools they need to do it themselves (I won’t bake the cake for you but here is my recipe).


  2. I’ve struggled with this too. I actually had a post-it on my desk for a while with reminders of different ways to say no – such as, ‘I’d love to help but I don’t have the capacity for that right now’ etc. I still find it difficult but I’m getting slightly better. 🙂


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