I was just a regular buddy to most friends until I started working and all of a sudden most of them started entertaining dreams- I peed diamonds.

I guess life happens and at one point, depending on your social status and the value you have to offer, people will start having outrageous demands which could come in the form of investment of time, finances and emotional investment among others. Practising the art of saying “no” becomes a better choice than giving a Zidane-headbutt to outrageous demands.


Learning how to say “no” is an uncomfortable skill to hone as it goes against the very fundamental belief system of most people. We are all brought up in a social structure which teaches us to uphold a positive image to others and saying no to people is a perfect way to jeopardize that. What happens to the relationship between you and the other party afterwards? Pretty uncomfortable huh?

If you have been following my blog closely I talk about the topic of “niceness” or people pleasers in a brutally disgusting honest light. I talked about 6 reasons why being a people pleaser is a terrible idea. It comes at a cost! If you are willing to take on so many commitments, you run the risk of being unproductive and maximizing your chances of being stressed to death.


So, I put together 12 simple ways to say no without sounding like a…mmmm…dickhead!

1. No

No is a complete sentence
This should be enough!

2. I just don’t have that to give right now

3. Maybe next time

4. Sounds fun, but I’m not available

5. I wish I could, but I just can’t

6. That’s not going to work for me

7. No, I can’t do that, but here’s what I can do

8. I don’t think I’m the right person to help with that.

9. No thank you

10. I understand you really need my help, but I’m just not able to say yes to that. I’m so sorry

11. Unfortunately, that’s not something I can do at this time

12. I’m going to say no for now. I’ll let you know if something changes

Bonus: Sorry I’m busy.

There you go. Simple and effective to use in situations that suit their use. But be warned, you will have to be assertive and mean them when you say it. Maintain strong eye contact if in person, and erase the use of “errr…”. You don’t want to be communicating the opposite.

Uncomfortable yes but for people pleasers, you need to practice saying no. Exercise that muscle. Become comfortable with the discomfort.

Value your time, have priorities and stick to your guns. You deserve me-time too!

Ryan holiday quote.
Image courtesy ScoopHoop.com

Cheers, Dr.C

Do you have effective tips to share on “how to say no?”. Share in the comment section below.

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