Are you a sucker for saying yes to everyone? Do you often find yourself struggling to say no? Are you feeling trapped by your excessive urge to be agreeable? So, how to learn to say no without being rude?

Often times you are likely to feel compelled to say yes to everything, to agree with every request even if you do not want to. Saying no can be quite difficult for some people. Agreeing to every request and every demand can be daunting at times. It can make you feel stressed and exhausted with no time and energy for yourself and your goals. You will eventually be drained of your energy, time, and money along with your health which can be greatly affected by your attitude.

Why is it so difficult to say no?

So you may wonder why is it so difficult to say no. It may be due to your fear of rejection from the people around you. You may think that saying no will hurt the feelings of the other person, it may disappoint them and make them angry or it may appear rude. People-pleasing is another ability that can also make you say yes when you want to say no.

So how to learn to say no? You have to learn to say both no and yes at the right times. Trust me this will make your life much easier. Learning to say no in a polite manner will set your boundaries straight. It will help you understand your values and beliefs. Understand that saying no at times is absolutely okay. If you are struggling to say no, we have got you covered with these amazing tricks that will help you master the art of saying no in no time.

1. Know your true value

Values are a set of beliefs or ideas that you adhere to and that define you. They influence how you live your life and help you discover your true character. Identifying your values and abiding by them will make you realize that you are not useless or unworthy rather you are valuable and unique. It will help you look past people’s opinions of you and will help you to say no to unwanted situations.

Saying no can become quite easier if you know your true value. Being true to yourself will help you reach your utmost potential. It will help you achieve your most authentic and raw self. It will increase your confidence and help you make decisions in life.

Related: What is Self Awareness | How You can Develop Self Awareness?

2. Be firm and direct

Be assertive when you are saying no. being firm and direct will make it much easier rather than beating around the bush. Assertiveness implies being able to stand for yourself while still respecting the other person’s rights. Being assertive means that you are not aggressive or passive rather you are honest, direct, and firm. It helps you to be able to communicate your viewpoint without offending the other person or being rude to them.

Learning to be assertive is a skill that will help you out a lot in your life. Being firm and direct in the way you communicate with others will help you achieve what you truly desire and want. It will help you voice your opinion without being afraid of judgment. It will certainly help you say no to requests that you do not want to fulfill.

3. Know your priorities

Knowing your priorities can help you change your everyday behavior and decisions. Knowing your top priorities in life can bring meaning and happiness to your life. It can help you effectively manage your time and know what truly matters. It can adapt your mind to say no to situations that you cannot handle.

Prioritizing your day-to-day tasks will let you know what truly needs to be addressed. For example, if your mom asks for your presence at the dinner table you will make it happen if your family is your first priority and will try to finish your work on time. If a co-worker requests something on this day, know that you have to say no since your family is your first priority. However, if work is your priority you might lend a helping hand.

Knowing your priorities will help you deal with all the inflowing requests that you receive. It will help you make commitments that you truly want to make happen. Get to know your priorities by understanding the meaning of life. Identify your commitments, if you are a mom your kids are your priority. If you are a student, your studies are a priority.

Learn about your talents and identify them. It will help you understand your goals and will help you prioritize your tasks.

4. Practice saying no

Identifying your no is very important. Establishing your boundaries and saying no can be a difficult fleet but once achieved can set your life straight. Being resolute in your no will help you succeed in life. It will let you overlook situations that do not require your attention. Overworking yourself to the point where you are exhausted and do not even have time for yourself is not the way, rather a firm no is the answer to all questions.

Many people ask me how I practice saying no. Well, the answer may sound absurd but practicing saying no is the key. Stand before a mirror and say no 10 times every day. Many people suffer from anxiety that they have to carry around by saying no, this practice can help them quell some of this anxiety. It will help them get comfortable with the word no.

Look for some low-risk and easy situations and say no. try to say no when a colleague offers you a lift. Say no when someone tries to sell off something to you in a shop.

Shut yourself in a room and say no out loud many times. It may sound silly but it works. As the maxim says:

                                   “Practice makes a man perfect”

To learn anything practice is important that will eventually lead you to success. Practicing saying no will help you usher the anxiety, guilt, and stress that you might feel with saying no. Eventually, it will help you deal with real situations and you will be able to say no instead of saying yes.

5. Do not apologize

Remember that there is nothing to apologize for when you say no. You do not have to feel guilty for saying no since it is your right to do the best for yourself. Saying yes to everything will drain your energy and your schedule. It will act as a constant strain in your life affecting your physical and mental health. Saying yes easily can affect how you view yourself, affecting your self-esteem and self-confidence. You will end up in a poodle of misery and self-negation.

So try to pay regard and attention to yourself. You need to know what your body, mind,  and soul require. Tending to yourself and your needs should be the first and foremost priority without the need to feel guilty or to apologize to anyone. Looking out for yourself is not a bad thing, it is completely normal. So, instead of apologizing for saying no you need to build in enough self-confidence and self-worth that will allow you to say no firmly and without any guilt attached.

You tend to apologize before saying no to a request because you want to soften the blow your rejection might give to the other person. You want to appear nice and not rude. Most importantly you do not want to be disliked, criticized, or lose a relationship because of your no. However, research has shown that your apology could do more harm than good. It can make the rejection more painful, doing the exact opposite of what you intended it for. Moreover, it will make the other person feel worse and can even spite their need for revenge, making the other person feel vengeful.

6. Do not lie or make excuses

Making excuses or lying can be the worst thing you can do to avoid saying no. Lying can lead to guilt that will ultimately drain you out. Remember you are trying to avoid guilt in the first place. Guilt can lead to chaos and misery in your life and can all start with a simple lie.

Lying is simply not the solution. It is not worth it. You often try to avoid making commitments, and instead of saying a firm and direct no, you tend to lie and make up excuses. It may be because you want to protect something, it can be your image, the fear of rejection, or simply because you do not want to lose a relationship.

Instead of fearing the outcome of your no and lying and misleading the other person, you have to realize that it is not worth saying no at the cost of your happiness. Your happiness and your well-being should be your utmost priority, instead of living with the fear of rejection. Your lie will further lead to you feeling guilty and despising yourself. Trust me, lying will do more harm than good in your life. It can make you think quite low of yourself shattering your self-esteem and self-worth.

7. Be polite

When saying no remember not to be rude or arrogant but rather be polite. Saying yes to every single opportunity can disrupt and dismantle your life. It can make your life stressful and difficult. To live a well-balanced life you need to learn to say no. To live life to the fullest, remember to respect your thoughts and your boundaries.

8. Do not look back

Once you have made up your mind and voiced your decision, there is no need to look back. Rather than ruminating over your decision, you should feel pleased with yourself. You should understand that your no might have protected you from a potential threat. It might have cleared your path of a hurdle that could have drained your time and energy.

For some people, it might be difficult to accept their decisions, especially those who tend to be people pleasers. They tend to say yes too often leading to exhaustion of their mind, soul, and energy. They may begin to feel resentment towards the other person and hold grudges against them. So, your no can help you avoid resentment and hatred, which can be hazardous for your health.

Try to look past the negative emotions such as guilt and shame that might follow your no, instead pay emphasis on positive emotions such as happiness and pleasure. Prioritize your positive feelings after saying no. Moreover, try to accept your decision and move forward in your life.

9. Build your self-worth

Work on building your self-worth and self-confidence. Knowing your true worth will help you realize your ambitions and goals. It will build up your self-confidence and self-esteem. People who do not realize their true worth and value do not pay attention to what they truly want. Moreover, they deem their opinion and their needs unimportant and secondary to other people’s wants and needs.


Learning to say no can be quite a task, especially for people who suffer from anxiety and the fear of rejection. However, once you master the art of saying no you will feel less stressed and more focused on your goals and dreams. Remember that you should not feel guilty about your personal life, what you want, and your mental health. Saying no will help you protect your mental health, time, and energy. It will help you respect your boundaries, and your priorities and will help you practice self-love. By following the above guide you will undoubtedly master the art of saying no in no time.

About the Author

Sara Khan

Sara Khan is a writer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. She aims to inspire and motivate people to live, love, and laugh wholeheartedly.

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