April 5, 2016

6 Tips for Saying NO with Ease

Okay -- get ready -- because this month's series on setting boundaries with special guest, Joy Evanns is going to really pack a punch. Be sure to get her How to Say NO scripts now.


Setting boundaries and saying NO can be a challenge for any woman. 

It’s a conundrum: You want to be liked and respected and you’ve been culturally conditioned to put everyone else’s needs above your own.  And at the same time, you’d also love to enjoy life, feel in balance, and be successful in your work or business. 

To do the latter, you need to be masterful at saying NO gracefully, and be willing to say it much more often than you say YES.

Here are 6 Tips for Saying NO with Ease:

1) Start with your YES.

When you keep your big YESes, your highest priorities, in the forefront of your mind, it’s much easier to say NO to the people and things that aren’t really at the top of your list.

Remember when you say NO to something, you’re not doing it in a vacuum. 

Time is finite, so that means everything you say YES to means you’re saying NO to something else.  Is the request you’re facing something so worthwhile you’re prepared to sacrifice something else that’s important to you, your family, or your work or business? 

2) Keep it Simple.

When we have an uncomfortable conversation, often our tendency is to talk too much. When you’re saying NO, less is more. Do your best not to say any more than you need to. Why? When you keep it simple, your message can come through clearly instead of getting lost in a ton of words. You’re shooting for both tactful AND direct.

3) Keep your BUT out of it.

Anytime you use the word BUT when you set boundaries, you negate whatever came before it in the sentence. 

Consider these two NO statements:

“I’d really love to volunteer at your fundraiser BUT I have another commitment that night.”

“I’d love to help you AND I have another meeting during that time.” 

When you use the conjunction AND instead of BUT you confirm your leading positive statement instead of negating it.  In truth, you’re experiencing both at the same time in which case an AND is more appropriate anyway.

4) Change your default to NO and buy yourself time.

If you have a tendency to say YES to everything, the first thing to do is to turn your default answer to everything to NO.  Give yourself a chance to pause and consider the longer term implications before saying YES. Here’s the magic statement that will help you do that:

“If you need an answer now, my answer is NO. But if you can give me 24 hours, it’s possible I may be able to figure out how to say YES.”

5) Drop the guilt.

When you say YES to things that feel out of balance for you, you lay down a thread of resentment in that relationship. Every time you do this, another thread is added, and another. By setting boundaries when something is legitimately a NO for you, you stop yourself from doing this and actually put yourself in the position to ENHANCE your relationships. A small amount of short term discomfort for long-term gain.

6) Offer an alternative.

Often times you can’t say YES to the request you’ve been asked, but you can say YES to something else instead. Maybe you don’t want to volunteer, but you would be willing to donate $100. Maybe you don’t want to meet with someone, but you can direct them to an article you’ve written on the topic or refer them to someone who is a better fit for their needs. Just because you don’t want to say YES to what they’ve asked, doesn’t mean you aren’t happy to say YES to something else that would be helpful.


Joy Evanns, the “Say NO Like a Pro” Mentor, helps women business owners improve their cash flow and find up to 40 extra hours each month by setting guilt-free boundaries. Pick up her two free How to Say NO conversation scripts and stop the time and money drain when someone asks, “Hey, I’m having this issue I’d love to pick your brain about. Can we have coffee?” Get your How to Say NO scripts now.

1 comment:

  1. I also learned that for simple things I would say YES to for my kids that YES comes after I ask them to do something for me like empty the garbage. Thanks for sharing. Jori


Sign up for my free guide so you can stop spinning your wheels and instead navigate your way through each stage of recovery with ease and clarity. Get the support you need today