Have you ever felt bad about saying no?
When someone asks you to do something you rather not, there are usually 3 options.
You can say yes because you would feel bad about saying no and end up unhappy, you can
say no and maybe feel bad, or you can say no without being rude and without feeling
Most of us have problems saying no so I’m going to share with you how to say no without
being rude or feeling bad by telling you a short story.
This is Adam.
Whenever his friends would ask him to hang out, he always felt obligated to say yes.
He didn’t want to let his friends down or appear as an aggressor.
Even though there were times where he wanted to say no so he can focus on starting his
side business, he still said yes.
One day, there was an event that could help Adam kickstart his side business and achieve
Adam was excited and wanted to go badly but the problem was that he got a text from his
friend Sam who wanted Adam to go watch a football game with him that was at the same time as
Adam knew he had to say no to his friend but he didn’t want to be rude or let him down.
He thought about what the best way to go about saying no would be and he would ultimately
make a huge mistake.
He told his friend I would love to go but I am really busy today.
The problem with this approach aka giving a lame excuse is that it gives the other person
an opening to continue to ask.
Adam’s friend was pretty taken aback by this answer because he never saw Adam say
no so he decided to ask some questions.
What could you possibly be busy with?
It’s Sunday and you don’t have to work.
Adam was also surprised by Sam’s response because he thought he said no effectively.
Adam decided that he had to stop beating around the bush and just flat out say it, even if
the consequences might hurt.
I don’t want to go because I would rather go to another event.
Sam then understood the situation a lot better and decided not to ask more questions.
In the end, Adam got to go to the event he wanted and his friendship with Sam improved.
So what went right and what went wrong?
Let’s start with what went wrong.
As mentioned in the story, making lame excuses and not directly saying no is often ineffective.
Although it won’t appear rude, the other person has an opening to continue to ask or
try to convince you.
As for what went right, Adam directly saying no is great.
He also provided a brief explanation because he wanted to but generally, the less said
He kept it nice and short instead of writing up a paragraph.
One thing to note is that the interaction in the story happens through text so the dynamics
of the interaction are different than in real life.
When you say no to someone face to face, you have to say it with conviction.
If you don’t appear assertive, you are giving the other person an opening.
You have to stand firm and not give in, even if the person might be uncomfortable.
Saying no is not rude, especially if you make yourself clear.
Another thing that went right is Adam finally putting his needs first.
If you prioritize someone else’s needs over yours, your productivity will suffer and you
will have more regrets.
There’s this quote from Warren Buffett that sums it up nicely.
"The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful
people say no to almost everything."
The last thing that Adam did right is that he set a boundary.
Most people have a hard time saying no because they don’t understand their role in the
We teach people how to treat us so since Adam used to always say yes, his friend always
expected the same response.
Adam realized this and he knew he had to change his role in the relationship by saying no.
He knew that the relationship can withstand him saying no.
If someone can’t take you saying no, they probably are not a true friend or they don’t
When you say no and stand up for yourself, you may lose friends or maybe even a career
but the alternative is being eaten alive inside.
The upside to this is that you will get rid of toxic relationships.
When you stand up for yourself and say no more often, it will get easier.
To recap, to say no effectively and not appear rude, you have to directly say it, set boundaries,
be assertive, and prioritize your own needs first.
Do you often have problems saying no?
Leave a comment below and check out this video on how to observe and read people which can
help you say no easier.