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3 Steps to saying "no" confidently

Updated: Jun 6, 2018

You've recently been asked to be a bridesmaid/groomsman for a friend's wedding. The wedding is out of town and you need to pay for your own fuel, accommodation, and wedding outfit. It's safe to say that this wedding will cost you a chunk of your monthly budget. And seeing that you haven't really spent time with this friend in over two years, you are also doubting why you were asked in the first place?

While taking all of your thoughts into consideration, you find yourself in a situation where you might be saying “yes” to something you really don't want to do. But why?...


A desire to please and not to harm another person's feelings are often the driving forces behind a dishonest "yes". When you agree to do things you really don’t want to do, it can take an emotional toll - more stress, less energy, resentment, and a low self-esteem. But hey... at least your friend is happy.

It's important to learn how to confidently say "no" to someone without feeling guilty about it. It's not always easy, and chances are that you will trip and fall before learning how to walk, but you owe it to yourself.

So, where to begin?


You need to find a balance between meeting your own needs and helping others meet theirs. Here are three helpful steps to follow when responding to a request.


Take your time


Don't pressure yourself into thinking you should respond to a request immediately and positively. Rather tell the person that you need to think about it and that you will respond soonest. Allow yourself some breathing space and time to ask yourself the important questions.


Explore your own wants and needs. Ask yourself:


  • “What are my needs?”

  • “How much of my time, energy, and resources am I willing to give to help this other person meet their needs?"


Be assertive


Whatever you decide, you should always be assertive. Hopefully, the questions above have given you a clearer sense of what you need and want; all that's left is to make it clear to others by responding directly and honestly.


By effectively self-disclosing how you really feel and expressing the honest reason for your decision, your response will leave little room for the other person to question, argue, or doubt your decision.

They might not like your decision at first but will in time respect you for your honesty. If they don't, then perhaps it's better to reconsider the relationship?


Learn more: www.parents.co.za/byb

Disclaimer: The information contained in this communication is not to be construed as medical advice. Consult a professional on any medical or psychological concerns. The articles and blogs are posted only as opinion or ideas, and are general in nature. The administrator takes no responsibility for any action or outcome a reader may make as a result of reading a post.

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