Mental Health

10 ways to say ‘no’ for people pleasers

Are you an eternal people pleaser who finds it hard to know how to say ‘no’?

Invites, dinners and gatherings often come in thick and fast during party season, meaning our social calendars fill up quicker than we can keep up with.

It’s important to take care of ourselves during busy periods so we can be the best version of ourselves and keep stress to a minimum. Here, we share 10 simple ways to say ‘no’ to plans you just don’t want to do without causing any offence. Remember, it’s okay to say ‘no’ sometimes!

10 ways to say ‘no’ for people pleasers

“I wish I could, but there are other things I need to say yes to.”

Let them know that your dairy is already to the brim and your time, like anyone’s, is extremely valuable right now. They will most likely – and should – understand.

“Thanks for the invite, but it’s just not my thing.”

Blackberry and apple gin fizzHonesty is often the best policy. Be polite by thanking them for taking the time to invite you to their plans, but let them know that you wouldn’t really enjoy being there anyway.

“Sorry, I can’t do that day.”

A soft no can be an easy way out of plans you don’t want to attend. There’s no need to suggest an alternative date if you want to let your friend down gently. Just don’t get caught out strolling the supermarket aisles if you told them a white lie about your whereabouts!

“I wish there were two of me!”

This is a simple way to let them know that you’re stretched to the limit right now and would attend if you could.

“I don’t think I’m the right person for that.”

If you’re being asked to offer your skills, time or expertise for an event, it can be hard to turn down that request. Simply let them know you’re not quite the right fit. Just remember to be firm if they counter it.

“Sounds great, but maybe next time.”

Simply let them know that you may be interested next time around – but remember not to use this excuse every single year or you may see your invites disappear.

“I’m so sorry to miss it but that isn’t in my budget right now.”

Money can be a touchy topic with family and friends, but it’s best to be straight forward. You don’t need to divulge too much on your finances. Just let them know that their invite doesn’t align with your budget.

“I’m not committing to anything else right now.”

anaemiaLetting them know that it’s not just their invite you’re turning down right now can help to minimise any offence caused.

“Let me get back to you on that one.”

Struggle to say ‘no’ in person? Deferring your response to a later date can give you some time to think up an excuse (see above!). Don’t forget to get back to them though or you may not be invited next time.

“No, thank you.”

And finally… don’t beat around the bush. Sometimes it’s best to just say it how it is when the above suggestions just don’t suffice.

Read more features like this