How to Start Saying “No” to The People You Care About

A simple word that can change your life for the better

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

How many times a day do you say “no?”

The world is filled with “yes” people, including myself. Who knew that such a simple word can have so much impact on the way you live your life?

When you say “yes” too many times to people, they will start to take advantage of you. They may see you as a nice, kind person but they start to rely on you for their own personal needs, which kind of sucks. It’s nice to know that somebody can go to you for help but how is that person supposed to learn how to things on their own?

The opportunity to say “no” presents itself when somebody asks you a simple question like “can you take me somewhere now?” Sometimes they’ll try to not come off as too needy by saying “please” and “if you don’t mind.” At that moment you have a choice, but for some reason as much you don't want to give them a ride you still say yes.


You don’t want to let this person down and also at times, that person has been there for you so you don’t think it wouldn't be fair if you were to tell them no.

What’s the worse that can happen if you tell your best friend “no” once in a while?

Do you think that they’ll stop being your friend forever?

If you think this could potentially happen with you and one of your friends then you may need to take a look at who you’re friends really are.

How many times do you get told “no” a day? It may not be too many because you’re not the type of person to ask for a lot, but it does happen every now and then.

You may be upset at the moment but as your life goes on you forget about it within days. If you’re having trouble saying “no” then take a look at these few ways you can get started.

Start giving yourself more respect

Being able to tell people “no” starts with yourself.

Do you have trouble telling yourself “no” at times?

If so, then this may be something that’s holding you back from being honest with people.

One thing to think about too is that when you tell somebody “yes” with hesitation and low confidence, they don’t hear any of that. As long you say the magic words that they want to hear then you’re under their spell.

Sometimes you’re friends and family may genuinely need help and that’s ok. You should be able to sense out times when your help isn't really needed.

Listen, if you want to be a “yes” man all of your life then by all means go for it. Just know that you’re going to be living a life for other people and not yourself. The art of giving is beautiful and it is the right thing to do but to what extent?

When are you going to start making yourself happy, when are you going to start asking for honest help?

The time you take to show yourself that you deserve more respect is the same time where you will realize the power of saying “no”.

Of course, when first trying to do this, it’s not going to be easy. That’s why it all starts with respecting yourself first. It’s a tough line to cross but trust me when you will feel a lot more confident and you’ll become more productive.

At the end of the day, you’re human. There’s only so much you can do within 24 hours. Don’t you have things that you want to get done too? Don’t you have goals that you want to accomplish eventually? Use this as motivation for the next time somebody asks you for a favor that you know they don’t necessarily need your help with.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Practice saying it to people

Ok, now that you understand the amount of respect you have for yourself matters, it’s time to start putting in some work. A fair warning before you start trying this “no” tactic out on people is people are going to give you a lot of weird looks and they will be a little upset at the moment.

Start with the people who you are most comfortable with, the people who you can talk to about anything. The next time they ask you for a favor, hear them out and let them explain the situation to the best of their ability. Once they do that, take a deep breath and just say “no, I can’t right now.”

Boom, you’re done the situation is over.

Try doing this at least once a week for a month and watch how much more confident you’ll be when saying this to people. Like I said before you may experience some tough criticism and you many get questions but that's ok, it’s part of the process.

When somebody asks you “why not” tell them that you’re busy and if you get a chance later then you will help them out. The goal here is to not shut down that person completely but to let them know that you’re not available every time they need you.

The respect that you have for yourself will eventually transfer over to them as well. You’re going to have to be strong through this practice, there will be times where you may be tempted to change your answer but remember the respect that you have for yourself.

You don't want to have to explain yourself but if you feel like you need to then go ahead. No matter how much you practice, saying “no” to somebody will still be hard at times. Just make sure that when you’re explaining yourself that it’s an honest answer and not made up or premeditated.

Put in the work of becoming more unavailable to everyone and you will start to see a difference in your behavior towards those people, a better and more honest behavior than before.

People will start to respect your time more

So, you know that somebody can’t necessarily make you do something right?

When it comes down to it, it’s a choice. The reason why it may feel like you have no control when somebody asks you for something is because of the way that they’re doing it. They’re not telling you, they’re asking you, which somehow takes all of the pressure away from them onto you.

Kind of weird right?

Well, it’s important to know that there are some benefits to telling people “no.” One major benefit is the amount of respect you will be shown when it comes to your time.

Many people have a hard time understanding why people can't help them out in certain situations. They assume that when they have a problem you should be available to help no matter what or they may think that they know your life.

The easiest way to let people know that they don’t know your life is by telling them “no.” Once you start telling people how you truly feel it will start to feel more natural over time.

What kind of impression do you want to give off to people?

An impression that will make them like you for the wrong reasons or an impression that will make them like you for who you really are?

The easiest way to gain somebody’s respect is, to be honest with them. If you cant help them out when they ask then it’s ok to say no. If you’re able to help them when they ask then why not try to help.

Your relationships shouldn’t be based on a 50/50 rule, but instead on how you can give more value to that person without desperately trying.

Being genuine with your answers takes some time and practice but it will all be worth it once you start to have more free time on your hands.

Start saying “no” in the right situations and you’ll live a more honest lifestyle. This can be hard to do with the people you care about but it makes the relationships you have with them a lot better. I’ll leave you with a quote from author Paulo Coelho that says

“When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself.”

A young adult who’s writing is geared towards self-improvement and self care. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

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