It’s okay to say No

5 ways to say ‘No’

Do you ever end up over-committing to things?    Or perhaps find yourself seething with resentment at having to be somewhere that you really don’t want or need to be?  When you say yes to something you don’t enjoy, you say no to things that you love.

Here are some tips to help you say that elusive word:

  1. Buy yourself time.  Instead of committing on the spot say ‘I’ll have to check my diary and will get back to you’. It can be easier to say ‘no’ if the other person feels we’ve given it some consideration.
  2. Just say ‘no’.   You don’t always have to give a reason or excuse as to why you can’t or don’t want to do something.  Sometimes we dilute our ‘no’ by waffling on about why we can’t do it. It’s okay – you’re allowed to say ‘no’.
  3. If you never say ‘no’ what’s the value of your ‘yes’? Value your own time and others will start to value you more too.
  4. Offer an alternative (if you think it’s appropriate).  For example ‘no I can’t come to that meeting but I can send you my headline thoughts the day before).
  5. It’s not what you say it’s how you say it.  If saying ‘no’ sounds too blunt you can frame it differently – e.g. ‘thanks for asking me, it sounds great – unfortunately I can’t make it this time around’.


Get in touch with me at or use the links below if you’d like any help or advice.



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