Learn to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Why is it that your husband has no issue saying no and avoiding tasks he doesn’t want to do, but you always end up saying yes? When his brother asks to move in with you for a few weeks while he looks for a place of his own, he says no and that’s the end of it. When your mom asks you to host your cousin’s bridal shower in your home you automatically say yes, even though you’d rather not. Men are taught at a young age to say no, because caving makes them look like a wimp. Women, on the other hand, learn at an early age to say yes, because they are praised for being helpful and selfless. Ladies, ignore what your mothers told you and stop feeling bad about saying no; you have your own reasons for wanting to say no, but here are a few reasons you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

Consider the Effort

The next time someone asks you to do a small, teeny tiny, itty bitty favor, ask yourself if you really want to do it. Is babysitting your sister’s dog for two weeks while she’s on her honeymoon really something you want to do? Walks, food, bathing, grooming appointments and having to run home between work and anything fun you want to do everyday are time consuming and annoying to someone who doesn’t own a dog. If it’s going to interfere with your life, it’s not worth it.

You’ll Become a Doormat

Instead of being helpful by saying yes all the time, you’re just letting everyone believe that you are nothing more than a doormat. Your will continue to be everyone’s go to girl for favors, which makes you miserable. Add to that the fact that the same people who expect you to say yes on a regular basis probably have no problem saying no to you when something doesn’t suit them, and you have no reason to feel obligated to say yes.

Now that you know it is okay to say no, you have to actually say the word. N-O. No. Absolutely not. Sorry, can’t be of service to you. NO. I’d rather poke my eye out with a dull pencil (all right, you can think that one, but it probably isn’t nice to say that when your brother asks you to watch his kids). Realizing that the word no isn’t a bad word, and that you have valid reasons for using it from time to time is a big step, but realizing you can say it doesn’t make it any easier to actually say it. Try these easy tips to help you actually say the word no.

Recognize the Signs

Does your mom only call when she needs a favor? Does it seem like every time you hear the words, “Hey, do you mind if…” or “I’ve been meaning to ask….”, someone busts out with a favor request? Recognizing the warning signs of being asked for something will help you to realize what’s coming before it comes, giving you a few seconds to prepare to say no.


When you find yourself surprised with a request for a favor you really don’t want to do, stay quiet for a few seconds. While you are silently panicking and thinking to yourself that now would be a great time for someone’s kid to pull the fire alarm, your friend thinks you are mentally going over your calendar and seeing if it’s possible for you to do what they just asked. When you say no, they’ll think you’ve considered their question, but cannot help due to other obligations.

Keep your Refusal Short

A simple, “I’d love to, but I really can’t,” is all it takes to turn someone down. A long-winded explanation will only drag out the conversation and make it seem to the other person like you are just making an excuse. You don’t owe anyone any explanations as to why you cannot grant their wishes for a favor.


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