Saying no to certain situations or people is not as easy as counting to three, we get it! But when push comes to shove, saying no will possibly be the best thing. We list 10 situations in which one little word “no” can save your sanity and mental health.
1. When that irresponsible friend asks to use your car
… because he wrote his off last week. Say, ‘Sorry, but I have a rule that I don’t lend anyone anything that I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking them to replace.’ This softens the blow, as you’re not singling him out as someone you don’t trust.
2. When you don’t actually want that overpriced palette
You came for mascara, but one pushy sales assistant later, you’ve blown all your savings on more make-up than even Kim K knows what to do with. Practise saying this before you hit the beauty department: ‘No, thank you. It looks wonderful, but all I really need today is…’
3. When someone asks you to do something for free that you’d normally charge for
Whether it’s making a wedding cake or proofreading a thesis, people usually pay good money for your services. Try telling your friend, ‘I’d love to! Let’s chat about what you need so that I can quote accordingly.’ This states, in no uncertain terms, you expect to be paid for your work.
4. When someone you have no interest in pesters you for a date
What they think is a cute battle of wills, is actually harassment. Continue to say ‘no’, and tell your friends and family so they can keep an eye on the situation.
5. When a friend asks for a large loan
There are plenty of other ways you can be supportive, such as helping them find a viable bank loan and helping them to draw up a repayment plan.
6. When you just want to stay home
You’ve had a long week and an early night sounds way better than the wine-fuelled dinner your friends have planned. Politely decline, and don’t let anyone make you feel like a spoilsport – real friends support self-care.
7. When relatives think your home is a free b&b
It’s family, you can’t say no, right? Wrong. Tell them you’re not up to playing hostess right now. You can still have quality time during their visit without sharing a bathroom.
8. When your boss adds to your already full workload
Saying ‘no’ at work is tough – we all want to be team players. Here’s how to get across that you are already at capacity: ‘That sounds like an exciting opportunity. I’m finding X project is keeping me busy all day, though. Would you like me to prioritise this instead?’
9. When you get bad vibes from a stranger
‘I locked myself out, do you mind if I come in to use your phone?’ We’re taught to be polite – even when our internal red flags are up. Drop the nice act, trust your instincts and say ‘no’. You can always apologise later.
10. Whenever you want!
Practise makes perfect. Every time you’re about to say ‘yes’ to please someone, say ‘no’. What’s that? The world didn’t fall apart?
Words by Jade Taylor Cooke