Saying no is not always the easiest thing to do. We live in a world where we’re (usually) expected to drop everything and help other people, sometimes even at the expense of our own personal health and happiness. If you’re one of those people, one who commonly gives too much with little in return, I’m sharing eight ways for you to start saying no without feeling like a total jerk.

Incorporating this little word into our daily vocabulary is so important because it gives us the chance to focus on the the activities and commitments that we actually want to be a part of. When we choose to decline an invitation, figuratively or literally, we are giving ourselves the chance to say Yes somewhere else in our lives.

What I love about saying no to certain things is that I know I’m releasing myself from the pressure of just showing up because I “should.” I’ve found that when we’re in those situations – the ones where we force ourselves to show up out of guilt or fear of saying no – we aren’t really present as the best version of ourselves. We can feel resentful, frustrated, and annoyed, and I’m pretty sure that’s not the type of energy most of us want to be remembered for or put out into the world.

Also, not to mention the fact that saying no really allows you to become the master of your own time and energy. There’s nothing more exhausting than your calendar being overcrowded with stuff you don’t even want to do in the first place, let alone not having any time for the stuff you’d actually like to be doing at the end of the day.

Isn’t it time you make time for you?

Before I spill my secrets on how to say no without feeling bad about it, let’s talk about why saying no can feel so scary and like it’s not even an option for you. I’ve found there are usually a few reasons we tend to avoid using this word.

1. We feel like we don’t deserve to say no. It’s like we tell ourselves that we’re not busy enough to politely decline an invitation and choose to power through and spread ourselves too thin in the process.

2. We’re worried about letting the person on the receiving end down. They’re depending on us, right? Without my support they’re doomed, you might even say to yourself.

3. There’s an overwhelming feeling of guilt, like by saying no, we’re avoiding something we “should” be doing.

Do any of these thoughts resonate with you? Comment below! I’d love to hear your take on why saying no can be so hard at times.

Easy ways to say no

Okay, here we go! Are you ready to learn eight easy ways to say no?

1. “Thanks for thinking of me, but I’ve got too much going on right now.”

This approach empowers you to show your appreciation first and then say no in a realistic and honest way.

2. “Sounds like a great opportunity/party/happy hour! Unfortunately, I can’t make it.”

A tried-and-true approach to saying no.

3. “I really can’t give that 100% of my effort right now, so I’m going to have to decline.”

Choosing your happiness and sanity doesn’t make you a bad person! Plus, showing up 50% is never a good feeling for anyone involved.

4. “I appreciate the offer, but I can’t right now.”

To me, being grateful outweighs the fact that you’re declining their offer. Right…?

5. “This project/opportunity deserves more attention than I can give at the moment. I’d love to chat about some ways we can make it work without my direct involvement!”

Call on this one when you realize that you’re doing too much to be 100% involved but still want to help the project/event/opportunity be a success.

6. “Nope, it’s just not in the cards for me right now.”

Because I’m aware AF of my schedule and realize that I don’t want to be spread too thin!

7. “I’m going to have to pass, but check with me next time!”

My personal favorite! You never know what the future might bring, so using this line makes it clear that you do want to be considered for future opportunities and invitations.

8. “It’s going to have to be a no from me, but thank you!”

Short, sweet, and to-the-point!

Seems easy enough, right?

Regardless of how many ways you learn how to say no, it can still feel overwhelming to simply start implementing this word into your vocabulary. So, women often ask me, what’s the easiest way to start saying no, especially if we’re way too used to saying Yes all the time? My answer is simple: start small and start where it feels easiest. By beginning to flex your boundary-muscle, you’ll see that over time choosing your time wisely becomes easier and easier.

At the end of the day, remember that saying no does not make you a mean or rude person. It makes you a human who values her time and her own personal happiness. Last time I checked, there was nothing wrong with that!

how to say no without guilt. easy go-to phrases for rejecting people with kindness.