7 Ways To Say No

Blog post

Having not been too well these past few months I am having to take a back seat in life and learn to say no more than I have done in the past.  I am still struggling with being very fatigued and spending most of the day rather dizzy.  I can tell you this, its not fun.  But I know that I need to take care of myself in order to recuperate and get back to how I was before I was taken ill.  Even thought I have a number of chronic illnesses I don’t like being ill and very rarely like giving in to being ill.  But I have learnt that this is something I need to do right now and I really have very little choice in the matter.

I am taking a step back and I am starting to learn to say no.  Something I have ALWAYS struggled with!  Are you with me in taking on too much and feel like you need to take a step back and learn to say no more often?

Here are 7 ways I am saying no to people without feeling the guilt:

  1. Its ok to do so. You are allowed to say no to others who zap your time and energy.  You are allowed to say no to others who are taking advantage.  You are allowed to put yourself first.
  2. Accepting you must say no.  It’s hard to do if you have never done this before.  Personally I struggle to say no to others.  But I am going to try.  I know I can and must do this.
  3. Postpone.  Its fine for me to say that I will have a think about something when I have been asked.  I am not always going to always think I must say yes.
  4. Try an alternative.  Instead of saying no, I am going to suggest something else that suits me better than what I have been asked to do if I still wish to have involvement in something.
  5. Take a deep breath.  I am going to start to do this more and it will work.
  6. I’m going to go with my gut instinct.  My guts are not good, in fact they are down right rotten but I am going to start listening to my initial instinct when asked to do something.   If it doesn’t feel right for me I’m going to say no.  I am fully aware that this will not go down too well with people but hey, it’s time I put myself first.
  7. I am going to get straight to the point.  No more umming and arring about what to do.  This is something I have never really been good at  But I am so going to say no thanks if something is not right for me. I have to start to put myself first.

Do you struggle with saying no to people who put demands upon your time, energy and good will?


  • Sally-Jane

    23rd June 2017 at 11:12 AM

    I’ve been there, years ago, working 8 shifts in 6 days with a house, hubby and two small children to look after. Sunday was my day of rest: church, housework, food shopping and the weekly ironing.

    Eventually it got too much and we got extra staff in and I went part time but covering for illness and holidays. The money was good, but having your sanity is better.

    Learning to say no is hard, and you feel guilty, but remember why you are saying no. It may not be forever but as Mum’s, we often look out for everyone else and forget ourselves.
    Your 7 point list is good and well thought out. Stick to it, eat healthily, rest when you need to and hopefully things will come good again in a few months.

  • Kim Carberry

    23rd June 2017 at 5:36 PM

    I struggle to say no to people too…
    I need to follow your advice!
    I hope you feel better soon x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…A broken washing machine & no towels. #WotWMy Profile

  • Rosanna Alicia Design

    24th June 2017 at 9:14 PM

    This is a great post – thank you. I’m about to go freelance and this is one of the biggest potential problems that I think I’ll face. I’m so bad at saying no. Rx

  • Claire

    24th June 2017 at 9:24 PM

    This post was really helpful, Candace! Needing to say is fairly new to me – I’m battling sudden levels of exhaustion and generally feeling lousy that mean suddenly so many things I used to be able to do I now can’t – and it can feel like I’m turning into a difficult person because I’ve started needing to say no to stuff I would have done before.

  • Nicole

    25th June 2017 at 12:29 PM

    I totally struggle with this as a people pleaser. These are great tips that I am going to now incorporate. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Candace

      25th June 2017 at 12:31 PM

      People pleaser here too. It’s not easy but for my health it is something I know I have to do

  • Amelia

    25th June 2017 at 1:01 PM

    Good advice. Like finding an alternative. It has taken me a long time to (and continues) to say no and put myself first if needed. Yes to listening to our gut. Take care of yourself so that when you want to you can say yes and be there!

  • Lisa Orchard

    25th June 2017 at 3:00 PM

    I’ve learned to say no to people. It’s taken me a long time to get to that point where I don’t feel guilty, but I’ve finally gotten there! 🙂

  • Fancy

    25th June 2017 at 3:41 PM

    Yes, and worse is I don’t realise at the time!!
    Fancy recently posted…A Simple Minds MomentMy Profile

  • Hayley

    25th June 2017 at 4:36 PM

    I firmly believe that one can say “no” whilst remisining a thoroughly nice person. We all have to do it keep ourselves sane!

  • Diana

    25th June 2017 at 5:55 PM

    No, the hardest word in the universe to say if your are a people pleaser, or in my case a recovering people pleaser. Great reminders though.

  • Angela Noel

    25th June 2017 at 6:00 PM

    I went to a retreat where one of the message was, “If it’s not a hell YES, then it’s a heck NO.” The point being, if you can’t do it with enthusiasm and your heart revolts from saying yes, then it’s kinder to everyone to say no. It doesn’t have to be a rude no, but a no can be kinder than an unenthusiastic yes. Of course with any “rule” there are exceptions, but I like the idea and keep it in mind. I want the decisions I make to participate (or not) or to give my time or effort to be wholehearted, and that starts with listening to myself and what my heart really wants first. I’m fully in support of your resolution to say no, it’s not just good for you, it’s good for the people you love, too!

  • Lucy

    25th June 2017 at 6:02 PM

    I struggle to say no too. Being a people pleaser is tough! Great post!

  • Anne

    26th June 2017 at 11:17 AM

    My chronic illness has left me immobile, but I still have trouble saying no. I’ll definitely take on your tips.

  • Lisa

    26th June 2017 at 12:05 PM

    What a brilliant post! So many people struggle with this and I certainly did years ago, but once you learn to say no it’s such a relief #MMBC x

  • Carol

    26th June 2017 at 1:43 PM

    I’ve always had difficulty saying no to people. I’m retired now with arthritis and things I did even 10 years ago are now hard. Sometimes I have to say no to me. In my head I want to do what I’ve always down and now I must say “get real”. That is going to be difficult and not fun.

    1. Carol

      26th June 2017 at 1:48 PM


  • Lexie

    26th June 2017 at 4:08 PM

    It is so important to be able to say no when you need to! I have really struggled with learning to know my limits since my son was born. I can’t do everything that I used to, and that’s just ok!

    Thanks for the tips. 🙂

  • Catherine @ Story Snug

    27th June 2017 at 7:30 AM

    These are really great tips! Saying No is really difficult but I’ve also realised that if you say Yes all the time people start to expect it and don’t ask anybody else because they know you’ll say yes!


    1. Candace

      27th June 2017 at 7:33 AM


  • Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

    27th June 2017 at 9:31 AM

    Yes to all of this! I am trying to say no more often nowadays, I’m such a softy and feel it can be a downfall of mine for people taking advantage. I hope you start to feel better soon 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing with #MMBC. Hope to see you next week x

    1. Candace

      27th June 2017 at 9:40 AM

      Thank you & yes it is so hard to get in to a routine of what’s right for you

  • Musings of a tired mummy…zzz…

    28th June 2017 at 11:58 AM

    Saying no takes more effort but worth it for the lack of stress in the long run. Great ideas for finding alternatives to an outright no, much more likely to get a positive response #MMBC

  • Lisa

    29th June 2017 at 8:39 AM

    Love this post and totally agree with you! In fact I wrote an article just recently on this very topic called When you need to learn how to say no!

  • Farah

    29th June 2017 at 8:47 AM

    I love #7 because i always have a tough time with that. I can be so indecisive

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