Most Effective Method For When You Need To Say NO To Someone

no, people-pleaser, language


Most Effective Method For When You Need To Say NO To Someone

Written by: Kat Gal

“NO” is a simple word, yet it may just be the most difficult thing to say, especially if you are a people-pleaser. However, saying “no” is not only necessary at times, but it is also healthy. The good news is that saying “no” is not that difficult when you know how to do it effectively.

“No” was probably among your first words as a child. You used it so frequently, refusing to do things you didn’t want to. Yet, as an adult, you don’t use it often enough. When you do, you are still not firm enough and end up doing what you were asked to do anyways.

Being a helpful and kind person is good, however, it can be exhausting, stressful and taxing to your well-being. Did you know that according to research, helping your co-workers too often can make your performance worse? It is not about just tasks though. Becoming the emotional garbage bin at your job or social circle that everyone comes to vent to can become an emotional burden and toxic for your mental health.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be nice, helpful and emotionally available. However, you need to think about your well-being too. You don’t have to be a chronic people pleaser. Saying “no” and setting boundaries is more than okay.

Of course, I get it, if you are so used to saying “yes” and people tend to rely on you – if not use you – for everything, saying “no” can be a challenge. This is why it is important to be effective in your response.

Saying “don’t” instead of “can’t” is the most powerful way to say “no” in a respectful manner.

According to Shaunacy Ferro from the Mental Floss, it is important to choose your words carefully. If you say “don’t” instead of “can’t” it sounds more powerful and people will be more likely to respect it. You may want to say “I don’t answer emails over the weekend” instead of “I can’t answer emails over the weekend.” This language helps you set boundaries.

Using the same technique can also help you to stick with your goals and new habits and not give into temptations you don’t want to.

According to a study in the Journal of Consumer research, the language we use and the way you frame a statement affects how well you can stick to it. For example, if you are working on changing your eating habits to healthier habits, if you say “I can’t eat processed sugar” it may make you feel unempowered, sad, or angry. You will be less likely to stick you new habits and more likely to sabotage yourself. But if you say “I don’t eat processed sugar” you will feel more psychologically empowered and you will be more likely to be successful. The same holds true for working out: “I don’t skip workouts ” is more empowering than “I can’t skip workouts.”

Language matters regardless if you are talking to yourself or to someone else. Saying “can’t” suggests that you might want to do something, but you are not able to do it for some reason. You might want to eat sugar, but you can’t because of a diet. You might want to answer emails on the weekend, but you can’t because of family obligations. This leaves wiggle room and pressure to do it. On the other hand, saying “don’t” does not leave room for debate or discussion. It sets hard rules and clear boundaries. Sugar or answering emails over the weekend are simply out of the question.

Using this techniques, you can easily prevent yourself from saying “yes” to someone or to something the next time you don’t want to.

Just tell yourself loud and clear: “I don’t say yes to things I want to say no to.”

Isn’t this a great tip to set clear boundaries for yourself? Try it and let us know how it goes.

Share your experiences in the comments below. If you have any tips on how to say “no’” effectively, share your ideas. We would love to hear and to learn from you.


Kat Gal

Kat Gal

Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
Kat Gal


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