15 Ways to Say No

15 Ways to Say No

“There is a difference between being self-centred, and centred in the Self.” ~ Lynda Austin.

For many, saying No is a challenging task. We have been brought up to believe that putting ourselves first is bad, selfish or wrong. Yet when the oxygen mask drops on the airplane, who do you put it on first, you or your child?

Making onenself a priority is essential to healthy, happy and productive living. To do this, we may have to say No to certain people who could redirect us from listening to our own needs and practicing self-care.

15 simple ways to say No:

  • That won’t work for me.
  • That doesn’t resonate/feel right.
  • I feel I need to take time for me right now.
  • My body really wants/needs to dance tonight.
  • I would rather be in nature on my own.
  • An early night is the better option for me.
  • I don’t feel like it.
  • I’m not able to.
  • I can’t do it.
  • My heart wouldn’t be in it.
  • I don’t have time right now.
  • My focus needs to be on self-care instead.
  • My priority is my creativity at the moment.
  • I won’t be able to fit it in today.
  • I’d prefer not, that’s just not my kinda thing!

Applying the Spirit of Yes And:

To soften your communication, add a form of acknowledgment or appreciation before saying No:

  • Thanks for your invitation, and…
  • That sounds like fun, and…
  • I can see how much you want me to join you, and…
  • I get how hard you are working on this, and…
  • I appreciate you thinking of me, and…

Useful Tip:

Use as much first person language as you can. Using words like I, Me, My, and Mine not only help you access your own truth, but ensure you are not making it about the other person. When we use words like You or Your we are more likely to cause others to be defensive.

Communication is an art form.

It requires practice and your willingness to honor your true feelings and be authentic with others. Both you and the other person deserve this!

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to.” ~ Lynda Austin

*            *            *

Related Articles:
15 Ways to Express Needs & Desires
The Courage to Speak Your Truth ~ 5 Steps to Reclaiming Your Voice
Boundaries versus Speaking Your Truth
Whose Need is Stronger?
The Feelings Behind Your Need

Related Training:
Remembering to Play ~ Inspiring Joy, Freedom & Self-Care
Conscious Communication ~ Creative, Compassionate & Productive Communication

Posted in Communication, Self-Care and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Hi Vince, I forward your e-mail from my work to my personal e-mail.
    Work is: seec@shaw.ca
    Home is : rayanna@shaw.ca

    Thank you so…. much for your inspiring newsletters. Love reading your articles and I pass it on to others.
    You are making a difference in peoples lives!
    Many Blessings,
    Rayanna Anderson

  2. I have learned much from you on how to communicate and also your advice on play is interesting and I have put it to practise with my mother who is in a care home. This new play idea is new for me as I was brought up on the work ethic and born just after the depression. Thanks for the new insight……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *