A few weeks ago, I showed you guys some signs that you’re a pushover. If you read that and realized that you are, in fact, a total pushover (and don’t feel bad, I’ve been there), then you’ve probably known for a long time that you have a really hard time saying no, whether it’s to a friend who asks for a favor, a guy who wants to do something you don’t want to do or even a stranger.
I’ve been there. I used to have the most difficult time saying no to people, even when I really wanted to. I didn’t want to be seen as mean or bitchy. I wanted everyone to be able to count on me and to think that I was a really nice person who would always be there for them. So I said yes to everything, like invitations to parties I had no interest in, favors that caused me to really go out of my way, dates with guys I definitely wasn’t crushing on and more. I couldn’t figure out how to say no without feeling incredibly guilty. And if I did say no, it was always accompanied by an elaborate excuse, usually a complicated lie.
Then, in college, I met a girl who had no problem saying the word no. She didn’t feel the need to come up with excuses – if she didn’t want to do something, she just said, “No, I’m not into that.” If she didn’t want to go somewhere, she was honest, saying, “No, I’m too tired tonight” or “No, I just feel like hanging at home.” I was beyond impressed with her because of this. I realized that when K said no, she didn’t sound bitchy or horrible at all. She didn’t seem selfish or like someone you couldn’t count on. She also didn’t sound like a pushover, something I really didn’t want to be anymore.
So, I learned from K. The more we hung out, the more I started saying no to people too. Without even realizing it, K taught me how to do more of what I wanted rather than what everyone else wanted. Today, I don’t have as much of a problem saying no to people and it’s great. Of course, I realize that sometimes you have to say yes, even if you don’t really want to. But for the most part, none of us should have a huge problem with saying “no.” If you do, read these 10 tips on how to say no to anything. You’ll feel so much better once you figure it out.
Be Honest Instead Of Making Things ComplicatedThe only way I used to say no was when I would also make up a bunch of elaborate excuses and lies like, "I can't, I have to go to my grandma's for her birthday and they like me to stay late and after I might have to go to the store, ugh." It was exhausting. Don't do this. Making too many excuses sounds like, well, an excuse. It sounds lame! And making up a complicated lie is asking for trouble because then you have to worry about getting caught. Just tell the truth! Say something like, "I can't go out, I'm way too tired. I want to just chill tonight." Or, "I don't want to do that. I'm not interested." Keep it short, sweet and simple. It's as easy as that! Source: ShutterStock
Be RespectfulYou should definitely be honest, but that doesn't mean you need to be brutally honest. Don't be like, "Oh, God no, I would never do that!" or "Ew, why would I want to do that?" That's rude and that's what's going to make people think you're acting bitchy. Like I said, a simple, "No thanks," is your best way to go. Respect the person who is asking you to do something. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Over-ApologizeOnce you say no, don't start apologizing like crazy. It makes you look guilty and it also will probably make the other person annoyed. After all, if you're apologizing so much, that makes them think that maybe they should be mad at you for saying no. I used to do this all the time. Now I just stick with a simple, "I'm sorry," and leave it at that. Sometimes, I don't even feel the need to say that. Source: ShutterStock
Try To Compromise InsteadSay your friend asks you to go get pizza, but you're not in the mood and would rather go out with a different friend. Say something like, "I can't tonight, but what about next week?" Or say your friends want to watch one movie, but you don't. Suggest a movie you think you'll both like instead. You don't always need to compromise when saying no, but sometimes you do and there's nothing wrong with that. Why shouldn't everyone be happy? Source: ShutterStock
Be FirmWhen saying no, it's really important to be firm on your decision. If you act wishy-washy and say it more like, "no?" anyone is going to think they can take advantage of you and convince you to do the opposite. But if you're firm from the beginning, they're less likely to try to guilt you into doing what they want. Source: ShutterStock
Explain If NecessaryIf this person won't stop bugging you to change your mind, offer up an explanation if necessary. You don't have to do this, but it might help get them off your back. Say, "I've had a long week and I'm just way too tired," or "I did that before and I didn't like it. I don't want to do it again." Source: ShutterStock
Don't Feel GuiltySeriously, don't feel guilty about saying no. We all have to say no sometimes and while it might not be super pleasant, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. Don't force yourself to say yes because you feel bad. There's nothing wrong with turning someone down! If you feel guilty, that shows and then the other person can feel like you should feel guilty, you know? Source: ShutterStock
Don't Just Put It Off With No Intention Of Doing ItBack before I knew how to tell people no, I did this ALL the time, especially with guys. A dude would ask me out and, even though I wasn't interested, I would feel bad saying no. So, I would say things like, "I can't tonight, what about tomorrow?" even though I had NO INTENTION of doing it ever. I was just hoping that if I kept blowing it off, he would eventually get the hint on his own. That's mean and cowardly. Don't do it! If you're never going to do it, don't say you will, hoping the other person will forget. It doesn't work that way. Source: ShutterStock
Know When To Say YesEven though it's important to say no sometimes, it's also important to know when you should say yes. Once you start saying no, it might be tempting to say it all the time, but that could be alienating. For example, you don't have to go out for your friend's birthday every year, but you should at least make an effort to celebrate it. You don't have to say yes to dates you don't want to go on, but you should say yes to important events you're invited to. Figure out on your own which things you have obligations to say yes to and which don't matter. Source: ShutterStock
Move On To A New TopicOnce you say no, don't just sit there awkwardly with both of you thinking about it. Move on to the next topic like it's no big deal, because it's not! Just say, "Nah, no thanks," and then be like, "So how did you do on that biology test?" or whatever. This shows that there should be no bad feelings between either of you. Source: ShutterStock
Do you have a problem saying no? How did you learn to say it? What did I forget? Tell me in the comments.