“…there are often many things we feel we should do that, in fact, we don’t really have to do. Getting to the point where we can tell the difference is a major milestone in the simplification process.”

-Elaine St. James

Easy ways to say no without explaining yourself

Most of us have been in situations when we want to say “no” but end up saying “yes” because of fear of the unknown. 

I can honestly tell you that there is a freeing power tied to learning how to say “no”. Also, by saying “yes” all the time you are adding unnecessary stress to your life. It shortens the time you should be focusing on your own goals, it steals your time, and it also means you may miss the opportunity to say “yes” to important things. 

The moment you learn to say “no”, you have asserted that your time is valuable and that is a powerful thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should never say “yes”. By all means, you should; because it opens doors to opportunities, gives you the opportunity to work for a remarkable cause, and even meet amazing people, also the impact you’ll have on your loved one’s life. You should say “yes”. But, just know when to do so. Don’t go about saying “yes” when you are endeavoring to meet your own deadline. Don’t say “yes” when you are tight on money. Don’t say “yes” when you can’t afford to. Say “yes” when it also works for you too!

“What’s helped with saying no to others is asking myself first if I’m saying yes out of guilt or fear. If so, then it’s a polite no.”

-Neil Strauss

Easy ways to say no

In this post, I’d be sharing 5 easy ways to say no without explaining yourself:

Know your priorities:

When you know your priorities it provides you with the strength to decide whether saying “yes” will be a distraction or not. That gives you the chance to have a thoughtful response to the request and not some absurd ambiguous excuse on why you can’t be of help.


Be swift, polite, and firm with your response:

Upon receiving a request, if you know it’s going to have a negative impact on you or you’re not in a good place to help at the moment don’t stress about working up the courage to say “no”. Be swift, polite, and firm with your response. This gives the person the opportunity to seek assistance from somebody else. 

Have the courtesy to listen to the request:

For most people, asking for help is as difficult as saying “no”. It is important to have the courtesy of listening to their request. Don’t fake sympathy to a request. Even though your response to the request may be “no” really listen. You may not be able to help, but you may be able to refer them to someone else. 

Say “no”:

The moment you say “no” to a request, it is imperative that you stop talking. Learn to bite your tongue the moment you’re tempted to engage in verbal diarrhea. That is, don’t start offering excuses or justifications as that weakens your stance and gives the person the opportunity to make you say “yes”. 

Never say “no” and “sorry” in the same sentence:

The moment you say “no” and “sorry” in a sentence, you get asked “why” almost all the time. Because the person expects an explanation. Let’s look at this example: “I’m sorry I can’t be of help now”. The next response the person requesting your help asks is “why not” or “when do you think you’ll be of help”. But a simple “no” most times ends the conversation. 

We also need to understand as individuals that “no” is also a response. Whether it’s what we want to hear at the time we need a request granted or not. 

Also, every time you are saying “no” to something that is not important to you, you are saying “yes” to something that really is. Stop putting people’s needs above yours all the time, don’t worry about hurting someone else’s feelings, and ensure your priorities are in check.

Have you ever been in a dilemma where you have to make excuses for saying ”no”? Or you were looked at as an insensitive person for saying ”no” without explaining yourself, how did you handle it? Do you say ”yes” when you mean to say ”no”? Why? Let’s interact in the comment section.



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