Day 69 (5 Tips to Say No Directly: Cutting the Indirect Crap)

“I hate a man who always says ‘yes’ to me. When I say ”no” I like a man who also says ‘no.'” – Samuel Goldwyn

Prompt #4: Think about one question that is challenging to you and put it into a question. Think about it for 48 hours and write your ideas.

How can I learn to say a direct “no” more often?

It seems that many people have a tough time saying no to others.

It comes with that same frame of mind where we’re worried about what others think.

It’s interesting to note from many of my past rejections, people have given me their Facebook accounts only to unfriend me after a few days. This has happened five times now.

I couldn’t be more pissed off.

Why would you agree to give me something that isn’t what you really want to give? It reminds me of being a hypocrite.

I understand that it takes great courage to say no to someone face to face.

That’s why I feel so frustrated that many people haven’t learned this ability.

Even I’m not as great as I’d like to be, so I wanted to help all of you as well learn how to say “no”.

There’s only two ways of saying no that works for me: “No, that doesn’t work for me.” or simply, “No”.

Those are the only two phrases that you need to know.

You don’t need a reason to say no. If people see that as rude, that’s out of your control.

If people think you’re doing wrong because you said “no”, they’re assuming way too much.


So how do we learn to say “no”?

1. Practice in the mirror and say “no”. All it takes is 5 minutes a day to practice your assertiveness in a respectable way. It’s all about delivery and tone.

2. Ask a friend to help you by having them ask you things you wouldn’t agree to. This is good practice to look at someone you trust in the eye and tell them, “no”. It’s another way to practice delivery and tone.

3. Get rejected. Some people have the ability to say “no”, so you can gain perspective on how they said no to you. Seeing it from the other side can help.

4. Let others question you if you do say “no”. The simple solution: Repeat the “no” again and again until they get it.

5. Remember that it’s your life you’re living. Before you answer their request, ask yourself if it fits your own personal needs. If it does, then great. If it doesn’t, now is the time to use the power of “no”.

“No” is a very powerful tool. It lets us be assertive when we cannot handle other people’s requests. The reason doesn’t matter.

What matters is being true to yourself by having the integrity to say, “No”.

Anthony Middleton
Anthony Middleton

Cheers for the link, mate! You are so right with this. People take it as a personal dig when I am not at work, but am working on my dreams and can't meet up with them! Great rant and well writtern, Matt. I've never heard an American say "pissed off" before hehe :)

Simon Droog
Simon Droog

I have trouble saying no to people as well. Thanks for the great post! I especially like tip 5. I'm really going to try to remember that one and practice it :) I've noticed that saying no can also connected to certain people, at least for me. To say no to my girlfriend can be a lot harder than to some stranger on the street.