{Busy Woman’s Guide to Balance} 7 Ways to Say No

By Blair Lindler

Why does that two letter word have such trouble coming out of our mouths?


Because we don’t want to seem selfish, rude, or uncaring?

If you’re honest with yourself, you know it’s true.  As women, we have this innate belief that we need to do everything, be everything, and help everything; because otherwise, we’re selfish, rude, and uncaring to that individual, need, and/or cause.

So we’ve set some boundaries, we’ve set some priorities.  We’re starting to live them out…. but many of us  are still having trouble saying no.  Understandable.

Today, I want to share with you some real life ways that you can say no….

 7 Ways to Say No WITHOUT seeming selfish, rude or uncaring:

  1. Listen to the request respectfully – whatever they’re asking is important to them and their priorities.
  2. Be polite yet firm – let them know you understand what they want, but that your answer (no) isn’t going to change
  3. Be confident and succinct – you don’t have to raise your voice or get in their face.  KISS: Keep it simple sweetheart.
  4. Be non-confrontational about it –  Even if they’re getting heated, be the bigger/better person and keep calm.
  5. You don’t have to provide an excuse if you don’t want to – reasons for your no may prompt the requestor to solve this hurdle and turn you to say yes.  Oftentimes, “I’m just not able to” is enough J
  6. If you choose to provide a reason, keep it vague yet reasonable and truthful – if your schedule won’t allow it, if your financial priorities lie elsewhere, etc.
  7. If it is something that you’re interested in, but you’re just not able to right now – suggest that you reconnect later when it’s more convenient for you.


Bonus: Here are some REAL LIFE examples of polite no’s:

  • “Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I really can’t.”
  • “That sounds like a great event, but I really need to focus on some of my financial priorities right now.”
  • “I wish I could, but my schedule won’t allow for it.”
  • “I’m working on balancing my life a little better right now, and I’m afraid this doesn’t fit in with my goals right now.”
  • “No thank you.”
  • “I’m just not able to.”
  • “I’d love to help you paint, but my schedule is pretty full.  Can we reschedule it for next week? I’m free on Thursday.”
  • “Let me think about it…”
  • “I’m not the best person to ask about this.  Sally might be able to help you better than I.”
  • “No, I can’t.”
  • “I’d love to, but…”

I’m not advocating that you say no to everything.  But I AM saying that if a request doesn’t fit in with your priorities, morals, life goals, or passions…

You don’t HAVE to say yes!!!


For more real life tips to help you live a healthy, happy & BALANCED life, check out these posts: