5 Ways to Say NO! Without Guilt

So,  your life is chaotic, jam packed and crazy. You wake up each morning wondering how you are going to get through the day because you have so much to do.

When you drop the kids at school another parent approaches you about organizing a bake sale/ wrapping paper drive/capital campaign (pick one). What do you say? “Yes. Sure. Of course.”

What have you done? You have added one more thing to your already jam packed life.

Saying NO is a very important part of living the life of your dreams. We all want to be involved in the things that we want to be involved in but many of us are involved in things we don’t want to be involved in.

Why? Guilt, usually, but also the inclination to be helpful, to carry our share of the load and to set a good example for our kids.

These are all great things. But really, if you want to be the best person that you can be, to set a great example for your kids, you have to learn to ways to say NO.

#1 – Believe in yourself and your reasoning for saying NO.

When you are asked to do something take a moment, or an hour or a day, to really consider why you would add this thing to your pile.

Would it satisfy you? Do you have the time? Do you have the interest? Is it the best use of your already limited time?

Giving careful consideration to something before committing to it will allow you to say NO with conviction. You have solid reasoning as to why you shouldn’t do it. If you believe in your reasoning then it will be way easier to stand up and say NO.

#2 – Keep your NO explanation, respectful, short and sweet.

When preparing to say NO always begin delivering the message in a respectful way. Say that you are happy to have been asked and thank them for their confidence in you. This will soften them up for the next sentence…in which you say NO.

When saying NO it is important that you don’t go on and on as to why you can’t do something. You have your reasons and you want to stick to them and rattling on about why you are saying NO will only open up opportunities for the asker to convince you to say yes.

#3 – Don’t take a no to your NO.

Many askers are professionals. They know how to make another person do what they need them to do. When you have decided not to do something stick to it. You will feel much better about yourself if you do. This can be a learning experience for both you and your kids: how to make a choice and stick to it, even in the face of push back.

#4 – Use email.

I know this seems like a bit of a cop-out but really it’s the reason that email was invented…to deliver difficult news.

State your reasons for say NO clearly and decisively and offer no personal justifications or emotional commentary about this decision or anything else.

Your message will land and the asker will not be able to argue and will move on to ask someone else. And there is ALWAYS someone else to ask…

#5 – Reward yourself.

Positive reinforcement is a really good thing. Of course, by saying NO you will have the positive reinforcement that you haven’t added one more thing to your plate but I think that it’s important that when you have done something good for yourself, you reward yourself.

So reward yourself for a job well done, saying NO. It can be little, like a wonderful piece of dark chocolate, or big, like a massage. Whatever it is that will make your heart sing.

You have done something very difficult and you should give yourself credit for a job well done.

aying NO is not something that comes naturally to any of us but once you learn the value of doing so you will be well on your way to reaching the life of your dreams. Saying NO will help you not only not get overwhelmed but it will keep your time open for more important things.

And remember, if your kids see you saying NO in a clear, positive and respectful way they are more likely to do so themselves. This will set them up for success in the future, because they can set boundaries, something every mom wants for her child.

So really, it’s a two for one win. More time for you and a lesson learned for your kids. Well done, Mom!

Get in touch with me NOW for more ways to help your dreams come true!  You will be happy you did.


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2 replies
  1. Mary Franz
    Mary Franz says:

    Saying “no” is difficult. What a great topic that needs reviewing every so often.

    Personally, giving myself permission to say, “let me think about it” has been so helpful… that extra time, like you suggest to review if it is really something that fits for my schedule is important.

    Keeping the “no” short with no need to explain is a winner Mitzi.

    Thanks for a cool article…

    • Kenn Schroder
      Kenn Schroder says:

      Mary, I like thinking about it later except I often find I have too much to think about already. ;D But yeah, later is a good answer at times when it’s not clear if we should say yes or no now.

      I wonder if we can’t hire a professional “NOer”? Who will review my priorities and get back to requests for me?

      But looking back, I’ve found it much easier to say no when I’m super busy on something pressing or I’ve really clarified my next 3-6 months.


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