How to Just Say No

How to Just Say No

I find that a lot of women think that they cannot just say no to others.  Many of us are concerned about hurting a person's feelings or ruining a relationship.  We don't want to disappoint others.  We don't want to fail.  We are afraid of their reaction when we just say no.  We don't want to be rejected.  We are afraid of being criticized or judged when we just say no. 


When we have the right tool for the job, we find it easier because we do not have to think about how to phrase things just right. Following are a few simple, practical solutions:

  1. The Not No, But Not Yes No:  “Let me think about it, and I will get back to you.”
  2. The Plain and Simple No:  “Thanks, I will have to pass on that.” (Say it, then say nothing more.)
  3. The Amiable No:  “I appreciate you asking me; however, my time is already committed.”
  4. The Apologetic No:  “ I wish I could; however it is just not going to work for me right now.”
  5. The It’s Not My Decision No:  “I promised my therapist that I would not take on any more projects right now. I am working on creating more balance in my life.”
  6. The Family Excuse No:  “Thanks so much for the invitation but that is the day of my son’s soccer game, and I never miss those.”
  7. The Recommend Someone Else No:  “I just simply do not have the time right now. Let me recommend someone who may be able to help you.”
  8. The I’m Already Comitted No:  “I appreciate that you thought of me, but I’m afraid I am already booked that day.”
  9. The Set Boundaries No:  “Let me tell you what I can do …” Then limit your commitment to what will be comfortable for you.

What do you think of those solutions?

Lastly, following are four tips that may help you to effectively manage your energy:

  • Become comfortable and proficient at saying "no". Start prracticing it.
  • Ask for help and ask frequently.
  • Challenge your “shoulds” whenever they surface in your mind.
  • Give yourself permission to change your mind at any time! It is your perogative.



About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. I’ve gotten a lot better at saying no lately. I think it’s because I’ve realized that other people’s opinions of me don’t affect who I am. Saying no allows me to focus on what’s truly important to me.

  2. I find the “set no boundaries no” to be really effective. It let’s people know up front what you can and are willing to do. That said, sometimes people still want more. I find being direct, but polite, is the best policy too in that case. Great points!
    Jennifer Quisenberry recently posted…Let Your Grey Hair Fly Free!My Profile

  3. I totally agree. Please say “no”, ladies. It’s OK. People will respect you. I tell my clients that if they have issues saying no about a situation, they should use me as the “bad” guy. I’m OK with that. I tell them to tell the other person, “my bookkeeper says I can’t buy until next year.” Thanks for sharing these examples.

  4. Loving these tips!!


  5. Absolutely love this post!! It’s such a great reminder that we can’t always beat around the bush and satisfy everyone!

    xo Abby

  6. These are great solutions, Rachel. I have learned (and it’s been hard fought ๐Ÿ™‚ to just say “No.” Period. And I usually do it via your # 2, which is simple and nice, yet firm.

  7. These are excellent tips. I need to practice each of these three or four times a day. I have a serious over commitment problem.
    Christy Soukhamneut recently posted…Insurance Checks, Your Mortgage Company & Hurricane MatthewMy Profile

  8. Rachel, I still haven’t mastered this and often find myself giving long-winded explanations and justifications. I love the simple sentences you offered. I’m going to print this and start practising today.
    Tamuria recently posted…HOW TO MAKE APPLE HEAD MONSTERS FOR HALLOWEENMy Profile

  9. Hi Rachel,

    Super advice! We live in abundance. Shortages do not exist, even if sometimes we APPEAR to see shortages ๐Ÿ˜‰ This means it is OK to say No to non matches. So we have the energy to say Yes to good matches. This works across the board; blogging, business, life. Love your mention of being comfy with saying No. I get good practice daily. I told 2 guys in the past hour that guest posting is closed on my blog ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…10 Blogging Limiting Beliefs You Must Kill to SucceedMy Profile

  10. Good tips, and I have used all of them to say no…:-) Before, I had problems saying no too, sometimes I still do…but for the most part nowadays I do not care anymore and just say no when itรนs something I cannot or do not want to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. So important to learn to say no because it can end up making you feel ghastly and uncomfortable. It is important that we can learn to be firm and not feel pushed into things we don’t want to do. There are a few here I will give a try!

  12. Hi Rachel,

    I used to have such a problem saying no. It took a lot of work on my part to be able to say it. Now, I have no problem. I just say no. And…if someone asks me why, then I can use one of those wonderful tips above. BTW…I’ve used the therapist one lol.

    Donna Merrill recently posted…Workspace Design For BloggersMy Profile

  13. Hi, most of the time it is really hard to say no, specially to close family and friends, but learning how to say no when we really don’t feel like doing it, allows us to be who we really are, no pretentions, just us, being us. Thanks for sharing. Really great.
    leadership recently posted…Donny and Marie Las Vegas Honest ReviewMy Profile

  14. Hey Rachel, for years I had trouble saying no and would go to bed at night stressed out and angry with myself. Then I thought I was doing something by saying “I will get back to you,” been then I would stress the thought of seeing the person again. The older I got my mind and body demands peace so I learned to say no. Then it became easy. There were people in my life who deserved a firm, “no.” most of the time. How did they like the new me well I tell you that would be a blog post. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Love the list, Rachel.

    #7 is definitely my way of saying, “No.” We all have to set limits and boundaries so that we do stay centered and balanced. With my personality, it was hard to learn how to say no. But, after I found it too burdensome not to find a way to say no, I came up with one that I could live with.

    Self-respect is very important. It’s part of self-love.

    Nice post!
    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted…Unique Holiday Gift, Angel of Peace {Original Acrylic Painting}My Profile

  16. Jena Proctor :

    It can be so hard to say no. I have had to learn to say no to some things so that I can focus on the most important things.

  17. What a great resource list! I personally have no problem saying “no”, but have known many others who struggle with all things to do with personal boundaries. It does take courage when you first begin standing up for yourself but it is the most important form of self-care. Thanks!
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Still Struggling to Find Your Passion?My Profile

  18. Hi Rachel

    I learnt the hard way of saying no. Maybe if I had read this post, I could have sharpen my skills in saying NO but I do like the fact that you discussed this important topic. These days I don’t have issues saying No.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post. Take Care
    ikechi recently posted…Why You Shouldnโ€™t Throw Any of Yourself AwayMy Profile

  19. Hi Rachel,

    Donna Merrill introduced you and your blog on her blog today and I wanted to hop on over and say “Hi”! Saying “No” is a big problem for a lot of people. Either they are afraid to admit that they don’t know something or can’t do something OR they don’t want to get the person asking angry. Practicing saying “No” is a great idea. We should never say “Yes” to things we have no intention of following through with.

    Great post!

    Bren Pace recently posted…3 Things To Do When You Get The Blogging โ€œBluesโ€My Profile

  20. I love this post. Lately I really didn’t manage to say NO to often. Though everbody around me is pleased, I am stressed out right now. I believe its time for self-care right now. Which implies some friendly NOs.

  21. That, nice post Rechel. Its a biggest thing that. a women have her own rights to refuse any offer frequently.
    really recommend this to all women. Keep Stand on your answer “No” Just say no.


  1. […] How to Just Say No Written by: Rachel Lavern […]

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