How to Say No With Grace

Have you ever struggled with saying no? 

The whole ‘No is a complete sentence’ sounds great but in practice, if you’re at all empathic or a recovering people pleaser, it can be the hardest single syllable to get out. 

So, today I’d love to share some insights on this whole saying NO with the intent that it helps you stand in your Truth when you are on a date, receive a request from family or friends and even at work. 

The more you can dial into ‘saying No is not a dirty word,’ the prouder you will feel when you reclaim your time and energy. 

Nugget 1: When you say No to one thing, you say Yes to something else.

Think about it. It’s all a question of priorities. When you free yourself up from something that isn’t in alignment, you are saying Yes to something else that is, even if that thing hasn’t shown up. When I first learned this, it made it way easier to say no. So, if you struggle with it, ask yourself, “What would I be saying YES to by saying NO to this request?” Then, check yourself and see if that excites you! 

Nugget 2: You have to be willing to receive a No as much as say a No. 

Oooo this one really can mess with your head. Read it again. If you were brought up to always say yes, to put your needs last and to please others as a way of feeling worthy and deserving, then the absolute worst thing you can do is potentially disappoint someone with a “No.” If you say yes to things you don’t want to do in order to get approval or validation long enough, it can feel like the end of the world who you muster the courage to ask something of someone else and they say… NO! It can feel like a personal rejection, when really, they are just honouring their Truth. So, notice if you have strong emotions that come up when someone says No to you. Reframe that and when you can create space for hearing ‘no’ from others, it can become easier to say ‘no’ yourself. Because it’s not a prison attack or a symbol of how worthy/unworthy you are. It’s just how you or someone else feels. Respect it yo!

Nugget 3: Keep some ‘No’ alternatives in your back pocket

If you aren’t used to saying No and you’re asked to respond to a request on the spot, here are a few phrases you can pull out in case a simple “No” doesn’t naturally roll off your tongue:

  • “That’s an interesting idea. Let me sit with it and get back to you.” (This buys you time so you can process how you actually feel when you aren’t under pressure.) 
  • “I can’t give this the attention it deserves given my current commitments but I appreciate you thinking of me.” (Clear and respectful of both parties.) 
  • “I’m flattered you asked, but I’m going to have to pass this time.” (Short and sweet) 

The more you practice saying “no” when you mean “no,” the easier it will feel to say “yes” when it’s a full body YES!

And everyone benefits because there’s nothing better than being in the company of someone who is totally present and excited to be there. 

Q: Which of the three nuggets will you experiment with this week? What has helped you say No even when it’s hard? Share with us in the comments!

Ps: If you struggle with saying ‘No’ and want to learn more specific strategies to build up that muscle, consider private coaching! Go here to book a complimentary intro call with Diana. 

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