Ways to Say No and Why

woman posing for the camera smiling

We’ve all been there. A friend invites us out and we accept politely, then the day comes, and you keep checking your phone hoping that someone will text you and say the plans are cancelled.

Having a balanced lifestyle is all about juggling our work, social and personal time, but a lot of us can be a bit too polite to just say no and compromise our comfort and personal time for others too often. It’s time to recognise that our evening alone just lounging, watching TV or picking up that hobby you bought the tools for some time ago is just as important as maintaining friendships.

Time to relax and recharge has many impacts on your wellbeing. For a start having too much going on can bump up your stress levels, and this is no good for your physical or mental health. That lingering headache, low mood, and catching colds a little too quickly are all just some of the results that can happen from not keeping your stress levels under wraps.

Me-time also reboots your brain, helps you maintain your creativity, kickstarts your concentration, and deeper-thinking and actually despite you maybe skipping one of those stressful dinners small-talking it can actually improve your relationships because of the snowball effects of feeling more energised and happier puts you in a better mindset to engage in meaningful conversation and connections with others.

So, here are tips on why and how to say ‘no’ in a way that may make you feel more comfortable (no, this does not involve excuses such as I had a bad tummy last night, I think I need to stay in)

Say it in a way that you’re comfortable with

It won’t help at all if you say no and spend your valuable bath time with your favourite essential oils if you’re brewing and feeling guilty the whole time about the way you said no, and wondering how to come up with a better excuse to say next time you see them. Breathe. People are busy and also respect that their friends and family are busy too.

One of the best ways to say no is to be genuine. A 300-word text about how sick your pets been isn’t fooling most people. People would much rather hear the truth, or at least the simplest version of it, for example: 

  • I’m tied up this week, how about we catch up ________?
  • I’d love to, but I can’t.
  • Sorry, I won’t be able to dedicate enough time into it.
  • I just don’t have time right now. Let me recommend someone who may be able to help you.

The point is there are a million ways, to be honest without being harsh.

You can’t please everyone

If there are people in your life that will cut you off because you couldn’t go to Lunch with them, perhaps you need to think about why. People that have your true interest at heart, will understand. So don’t be afraid of your social circle perhaps getting smaller, it’s more important to surround yourself with supportive and positive people, then simply people by numbers.

Let your fear of missing out GO.

Ever gone out and come home and thought to yourself ‘okay, well I could have probably stayed home…’ that’s because a lot of our fear of missing out and staying home can actually be irrational. It’s important to really think about your priorities and your wellbeing, what matters to you the most in the long run?

Train your brain to boost confidence in approaching the ‘no’

Whenever you have a moment to yourself, and really think yes, this is EXACTLY what I needed, use aromatherapy to record that moment. Smell your favourite scent every time you have a great moment, and when you’re plucking up the courage to say no, simply smell your scent again and trigger the fantastic feeling you had, and remind yourself of how great you actually felt recharging your batteries.

Sometimes friendships and relationships do take a little compromise, and there are events we know we should attend even if they aren’t in our list of favourite things to do because we also want to support and celebrate those we love, but for our wellbeing, it’s important to start saying no to things we don’t want to do and making time for things that you love.