Many of us find it difficult to say “no”.  We feel compelled to say “yes” to everyone who is making demands of us.


There are several reasons for this:

  1. We don’t want to hurt the other person’s feeling;
  2. We fear rejection
  3. We lack the confidence to say “no”
  4. We believe it’s wrong to say “no”


Consider these points:


When you say “no” you are refusing a request– you are not rejecting the person.  Similarly, when you are refused a request YOU are not being rejected.  Other people have a right to say “no” too.


In terms of nurturing good relationships, when saying “no” it may be appropriate for you to offer some alternatives i.e. a different day to meet


Remember it is important for your own self-esteem to acknowledge and value your own needs, wants and feelings.


Saying “no” appropriately (and when safe to do so) is about taking back control over your Life.


It is important to realise that a clear “no” is much kinder and honest than an initial “yes”, reversed later by a white lie or a ‘let down’ excuse at the last minute.


Saying “No” does become easier with practice.


It is also important to reflect on “How you say “No”?

  • Make your refusal clearly and calmly. Be assertive but not aggressive
  • Make eye contact
  • If you want to express regret at refusing a request or if you feel an explanation is necessary, do so, but avoid excessive use of apologies, excuses or padding
  • Be respectful – Give the other person time to express their thoughts and feelings but do not get hooked or side-tracked by their responses
  • If it’s appropriate, be prepared to negotiate or compromise


Remember …… if you cannot say “No” what value is your “Yes”?