How to say No when you usually say Yes

  • by
Say No

Are boundaries necessary? And till what limit is it acceptable to have a boundary? And when does it start to piss off others? And, the last question, why do we still need to think about others?

Yes, helping people out is necessary and of utmost importance. It what creates a chain reaction of goodness and establishes what a human is. But just how much is it okay to flatten yourselves out and accept relentlessly whatever others demand? Does saying ‘no’ break the said chain reaction and paints us as someone who is impolite and uncaring to the fellow humans around us?

That’s something that a lot of people fear. They fear, that by refusing to help them we are actively letting the foundation of humanness crumble; reciprocity.

Reciprocity is a social psychology concept that says that a person does something that will benefit the other person because they did something on an equal footing with you. Basically, giving and taking. This social construct makes us helpful and kind and all things good.

But, this is also exploited the most. Learning how to say no is, therefore, very important. It stops the cycle of you bowing just for the sake of others.


Effects of saying yes all the time



Everyone wants to be called generous. I mean, who wouldn’t like to be remembered as “A kind gentlemen helped me find my daughter” or “An amiable lady helped me show the nearest bus stop in that new city”? But to what extent?

Hence, no is imperative. But caution must be taken whilst the perusal of this word for it is a strong word. So, we need to learn how to say no without saying no or learning how to say no without the use of the word ‘no’.



Tactics on How To Say No Without Saying No

  1. Use different words in place of ‘no’

    There are other ways to decline a person asking for your help like, ‘This is my wind-down time. I can’t give it up’; ‘My parents and I haven’t talked for a while and I have already reserved time for it’; ‘I haven’t slept properly last night, therefore, I’d have to decline’. You don’t have to make excuses. Yes, it will be hard for people to know why you have to stay at home while an awesome party is going on. Try putting yourself in the center. Give yourself the priority.

  2. Stay mum

    Silence is a very powerful weapon. You can choose to stay quiet and it will do the trick. But make sure you have a scowl or something that would give off that you are conveying disagreement abjectly. A scowl, a frown, squinted eyebrows, languid movements, or simply a long sigh. However, make use of this nuclear weapon as little as possible or only at places when you know that they and you are comfortable with each other. Preferably, in a casual setting. because it can be triggering to a lot of people.

  3. Keeping it vague every time ‘it’ pops up

    ‘Maybes’ and ‘I’ll think about its’ are also great. Because you have put them in a disgruntled and confused state, they will refrain from asking you again or they will know it for themselves. And if they ask you again give a definite answer. Don’t keep people dancing on their toes for your answers.

The tactics above can only be employed in a relaxed setting or when you are just starting. Saying something as harsh as ‘no’ sure puts off one in a pretty unsatisfactory place. Almost, like the aftertaste of a bitter candy that you expected would be nice.

But in a setting that doesn’t allow such intimate interactions or when you have to make a point, it is better to say no. A clear cut no works the best.

It is not an easy thing to do. It almost makes putting yourself, as a priority, an unforgiving task. Thus, you have to repeat yourself that you can say no. and practice saying no without saying no a lot. To yourself, in your conversations, with your friends after telling them that is an exercise in social psychology and you are working on yourself, and so on.

Learning how to say no is the first step. The next step is learning how to no longer listen to what people say.

Becoming a deaf person in a world full of noises is the hardest thing to do. Everyone is clamoring to be heard which confuses you to the point where you can’t hear yourself. You can’t decide which and what is the thing that works for you. You are walking on a strange path, blindly. You wish to be somewhere else but the path ahead of you leads you to someplace which others have directed to you.

It can be anything, your career, your meal, your outfit for the day, your choice of studying any subject, your decision to read which book, or your choice of words. It is a huge abyss where everything is void except others’ thoughts and voices.

The reason why I no longer listen to what people say is simple: this is my life. That is by no means mean that every advice by people is to be thrown into the trash. No, it means to listen to everything but choose to act on what you want.


The reasons why the formula ‘I no longer listen to what people say’ works and is the best

  1. Makes life simple

    Knowing what everyone says and only heeding to the ones I like mixed with what I think is right makes the perfect combination.

  2. It makes me feel in control

    We lose the steering wheels of our lives way too many times. And having control over something as unpredictable as life is a daunting task indeed. But knowing that the next meal or the career that I will be choosing will be of my own is an exhilarating feeling altogether.

  3. I am more responsible

    Blaming someone after failure is almost a pretty normal thing to do. And if the life that I want to live is being ruled by others makes it easier for me to pin them for every callous mistake that I Where does that place me and what does that make me? If I know the decision that I made was the reason for my failure, it helps me look where I went wrong.



Life is as unpredictable as it can get. We can only control it to the best of our abilities and that always doesn’t guarantee the result that we desire. However, a simple ‘no’ and ‘I no longer listen to what people say’ does the trick. And if saying the harsh and crude word, ‘no’, is a little too tough for you then learn some phrases that will be equivalent to saying no or better yet ask around from your peers on how to say no without saying no.

Be polite but also don’t forget yourself in the mayhem.



Read more Articles on self-care


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *