First Time User? Enroll now.
COVID-19: Vaccine information, visitor restrictions, and additional resources | Medicaid: The program is changing and you must take steps to keep your UNC Health providers
Home > Health Library > Learning to Say No
Do you often say yes when you'd rather say no? Maybe you agree to something because it feels easier in the moment. But you regret it later. Think of your thoughtful no as an act of kindness for your future self. Here are some tips on how to do it.
What did you say yes to that felt bad? What did you say yes to that felt good? Include details. For example, write about where you were, who else was there, and why you said yes.
You know what's best for you. And your needs are important. Tell yourself it's okay and healthy to take care of yourself.
Practice with a friend you trust. If this feels awkward, do it in front of your mirror or your pet. Use "I" statements and kind words. For example, say, "Thank you for the invite, but I prefer to stay home tonight."
Listen closely. Be curious and ask questions. Then take some space to think about your answer. Give a thoughtful answer that feels good to you.
If you have big feelings, take a moment to self-soothe. You can focus on your breath. Take a long breath in through your nose. And breathe it out through your mouth. You can do this a few times. When you feel calmer, give your answer.
If you mean, "I'd rather do it another time," then say that. Or if you mean, "I prefer not to do it," then say that. Don't frame your no as a question. And try to keep your tone of voice firm, not apologetic.
A thoughtful no may lead you to a thoughtful yes. Agree to activities, projects, and other stuff that you know make your life better.
Current as of:
June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.