7 Tips to Learn to Say No (No Guilt)

Learn to say no without feeling guilty will give you great benefits in various areas of your life. You will have less stress if you reject collaborations, less expenses if you refuse commercial offers and more time for yourself if you refuse appointments or possible meetings.

If you have an almost compulsive need to seek approval from others , you may also have trouble rejecting petitions.

Learn to say no

After all, saying is not rejecting something that another person offers you, although often what they offer you is not beneficial to you.

On the other hand, saying does not want to fit and want to always fit into everything can be very negative in your life:

  • Smoking because your friends do.
  • Make yourself brown (and burn) because it is fashionable.
  • Drink because it makes you more sociable and sympathetic to others.

The main idea is that if you do what you want you will be fulfilling your needs and you will be comfortable, if you fulfill what others want even if you do not want, you will feel uncomfortable and unhappy.

As you can see, if you do not say no, you may be losing your most precious resources in life:

  • Free time.
  • Health.
  • Money.

Another reason you need to learn to say is not that you can become a passive-aggressive person: you do not meet your needs and as a result of frustration and rancor towards others you behave in a passive-aggressive way.

Learn to Say No

However, do not worry; later on I will give you a 4-step process in which you can say No to anyone quickly and feeling comfortable.

Why is it so hard for you to say No?

People perceive the “NO” as an aggression toward the person making the request Learn to Say No. They feel uncomfortable refusing.

However, the actual cost of saying No is overestimated and the actual cost of saying Yes is understated when one does not actually mean it.

These are some causes of the tendency to say Yes (or always want to please):

  • Fear of being rude: some people – depending on the culture – may think that saying is not a sign of bad manners.
  • Wanting to help: If you have the value of solidarity, you always want to help others, even if you consume your own time.
  • Want to fit in: we have evolved to stay in a group, we are social beings and thousands of years ago if you were looking for life for yourself you were very likely to die.
  • Fear of creating conflict: You may be afraid that the other person may become angry because you reject him or her.
  • Fear of losing opportunities: you may worry about the fact that saying cannot close a door. For example, by saying no to a job offer you could lose opportunities in the future.

The word NO written in capital letters from a pile of blue and orange jigsaw puzzle pieces with a gray cardboard back.  Pictured separated on a white background.  Can also be turned upside down to spell ON.

7 Essential Tips for Learning to Say No

1-Use this formula

1-Listen carefully

If the person making the request is important to you, listen carefully. Or at least, if it goes with good intentions.

If you are the typical heavy seller you do not have to spend so much energy in listening.

2-Know your priorities

Once you know the request, you have to respond intelligently.

And responding intelligently requires that you know your priorities, know what you want to achieve at that time / stage, and what you do not need.

It will help you have a vision, goals and values ​​in your life . That way you will know which actions are aligned with them.

3-Make a quick decision

If you know the request and know your priorities, you will have an answer. Throw it fast.

If what you are asked for is not aligned with your vision, goals and values, your answer will be No. Later on I will show you ways to say No directly and with education.

4-Explain why (or not)

I am in favor of explaining if you have a relationship with the person who has made a request or if that person has good intentions.

That way you will maintain the personal relationship, since the person will understand your motives. Just being polite does not help to see your perspective. Often people need explanations and only you can decide who to give them.

If you do not know anything, try to sell something and forget or think it has no good intentions, I think you do not have to explain. A “I’m not interested” is enough.


2-Ways to say No

Many people know to say Yes, but they do not know to say No. However, if they do not want to do something they put an excuse and in the end it is worse than saying a resounding No.

You can say No politely and feeling good like this:

  • If you do not want to go to an invitation because you have more important things: “Thank you for the invitation. I cannot accept it / I cannot go, I have other important things to do / other priorities. However, I appreciate that you have included / considered me. “
  • If you do not want to do something:  “I cannot do it, thank you very much”.
  • If you are much stressed: “Right now I am not available, I have many other things to do, thank you very much”.
  • If you cannot accept an invitation but would like: “Thank you for the invitation. I would like to go / do it, even though I cannot right now. I hope you think about me again later. “
  • If you are a seller and you do not care what sells: “I’m not interested thank you”. “I’m not interested, I already have one” (if you already have one).

3-Recognize the techniques of persuasion

Recognizing the persuasive techniques vendors use will help you avoid its effects.

Recently I was watching a tablet in several shopping centers in Spain and I detected several tactics in the sellers:

  • Creating similarities: When I was in these shopping centers, it seemed a coincidence that two salespeople asked me what I had studied (I studied Psychology). Coincidentally, her sisters had also studied Psychology.
  • Reciprocity: The persuader is likely to give you something so that you want to feel reciprocity and give it back.
  • Ask two questions: normally a question is asked with a disproportionate request followed by a simple request: If you cannot donate 100 Euros you could donate 5 Euros?
  • Attractive physical: if the person who persuades is attractive, you will have a greater tendency to want to please and want to say yes.

Those are just some of the techniques. The most important thing when confronting sellers is to be aware that they will be using these techniques to make you more likely to say yes.

Also Read: The 4 Types of Basic Social Skills (Children and Adults)

Learn more techniques here to convince others.

4-If firm

In cases where the person making the request is insistent even if you say “no thanks” or “no thanks, I’m not interested”, you can use the scratched disc, a technique that is taught in social skills training.

It is about repeating a “no” or a no + phrase repeatedly after a request from the other person or when they try to manipulate you. Try to do it serenely and avoid using the same words. For example:

-Seller: Are you interested in the product?

Customer: No, the truth is I’m not interested.

-Seller: Yes, but this one is very good because it has X built in.

Customer: No, I do not need it.

-Seller: yes but has X built-in and will last a lot.

Customer: No, what I have is good for me.

-Seller: It’s fine thank you very much.

5-Do not think you’re rejecting

Nothing happens because you say no to someone; you are not rejecting him / her as a person, only at your request.

If someone you do not know tells you do you love me? Would you say yes? Not logically. However, many people say yes to absurd requests that harm them.

6-Stop wasting time

Have you ever been listening to a commercial for 10 minutes knowing that you were not going to buy anything?

I also happened to me before, until I learned to say that I’m not directly interested. Without explanation.

If a seller approaches you on the street or calls you on the phone and you are not interested in what you sell, say that you are not directly interested.

This is enough: “No thanks, I’m not interested”, you smile (or not) and you continue on your way.

Time is the most precious resource you have, it’s the only thing you can not buy. Do not waste it.

7-Erase your sentences the excuses

Actually make excuses; it’s much worse than saying no, because you’re telling a lie. And people perceive when you are not being sincere. That can make them see you as a disloyal person and they create a bad impression of you.

If you really want to say NO, stop saying phrases like:

  • “I cannot today, maybe another day.”
  • “Yes, another day, but not today.”
  • “I’ll call you soon when I study it.”
  • “Yes, we will, I’ll call you soon.”

The important thing here is that you are offering “maybe” or “if half”. It is no lie to say that you have other more important things, so do not be afraid to say it.

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