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"No" is an easy word to pronounce, but can be difficult to say

5 Ways to Say "NO" without guilt or anger
Posted at 1:54 PM, Aug 29, 2022

"No" is an easy word to pronounce, but it can be really hard to say to someone who's asking you for help, a favor, or your time.

Being able to say "no" without feeling angry or guilty is one of the main ways to keep relationships reciprocal, balanced, and healthy.

Sometimes, telling someone "no" will upset or anger others, no matter how assertively or respectfully you do it.

Still, there are some strategies you can use when saying "no" that can protect your relationship, spare the other person's feelings, and prevent conflicts.

Relationship Coach Val Baldwin joined us with 5 examples of ways you can say "no":

Express regret: Try saying something like, "I really wish I could but…" or "I would love to but unfortunately I can't" or, "I hate to let you down but…" Expressing regret lets them know that you want to help but are just not able to this time.

Explain why: Consider explaining why you're declining a request by saying something like, "I'm swamped at work" or, "I'll be out of town next week," or, "I have family visiting." This can help others understand why you're saying no to them.

Give a partial yes: A partial yes is a tactful way to say no to someone while still offering some help. For example, saying, "I can't do the whole thing, but I can help with…" or, "I am free for a couple of hours but can't stay the whole day" are examples of this strategy.

Delayed response: If you're a person who's too quick to say yes and overcommit, it might be a good idea to use delay tactics when someone is making a request of you. For example, if a friend asks you to dog sit or drive them to the airport at 5 am, tell them you need to double-check your schedule. This buys you time to think about whether or not you want to say yes or no.

Hard NO: A hard or firm "no" or "stop right now" is sometimes necessary, especially when polite attempts to refuse are ignored or when someone is disrespecting or violating you in some way.

Saying "no" is one of the most difficult assertiveness skills to learn, but it's important to develop it. Practice these 5 techniques and you too can learn to say "no" when it's the right thing to do.

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