How easy it was to refuse food we didn’t like or things we didn’t want to do when we were young. We just simply said: NO!!! Later on it seems we forgot to say no. I wrote about how to start learning saying know without guilt in my previous article. What can we do when we are in the moment and want to say no? What techniques, tools we can use? I will share with you some practical methods now.

1 If I Were You….

We often feel uncomfortable when we want to say no, however we wouldn’t mind at all receiving a rejection from the other person if we were him/her. If it happens to you a lot, it is worth to imagine yourself in the situation of your partner. What impact would it have on you if you received a “no” answer? What would you feel? What would you think about the other person? Probably nothing bad.

Photo: pasja1000 on Pixabay

2 Offer An Alternative

It could happen that we really want to help the other person, but we can not. It is suggested to offer an alternative, the alternative can be another date or time, another program or another person who can help. Actually an alternative is anything which might be useful to our conversation partner.

3 “Just Give Me A Reason…”

If we understand the other person, it really helps our communication and relationship. Don’t wait until he/she starts asking questions. Tell him/her your reasons why you are saying no unless you don’t want to share your reasons because of any particular circumstances.

+1 Assertiveness, Kindness, Honesty

Photo: Ryan McGuire on Pixabay

Whatever method you use to refuse something, it is worth to implement the principles of assertive communication saying, “I messages” can be extremely useful if the topic requires more explanation. It is also recommended to pay attention to general human kindness and honesty. Not like on the picture above…


1, A: Will you come to the cinema with me?

B: No, I’m sorry. How about tomorrow?

B: No, I’m really tired today, I need to have rest, I’ll go home.

B: No, sorry, I already have plans for today. We’re going to have dinner with Roby would you like to join us?

2, A: Could you backup me next week?

B: Just give me a minute to think about it (If I was him, I would react…. and than)….This surprised me, I didn’t plan my to doss accordingly. I’m sorry, I’ll be very busy, I can’t fit in anything more.

B: I’d love to help you, but I’ll be on business trip. Joe is going to stay in the office, he may help you.

B: No, I’m sorry, I’ll be busy next week, but I can help you this week.

As you could see from the examples, these methods can be used separately and together too. Which one did you like the most? Which one can you start using tomorrow? Which one seems more challenging? I know it seems easy with these examples, but can be more difficult in real life. If you need further help, contact me on Facebook or here. You can read more about assertiveness here. You can read more about the advantages of self-reflection here.

**Cover photo: Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay**