Saying no is one of our biggest hurdles to overcome.

It is our bugbear we eventually begin to resent because we say yes to something when we mean no I don’t want to do that at all. How many times have you promised yourself to say no the next time and again you haven’t? I put my hand up to that. Here are 12 ways to say no and feel free.

Because, the person asking can be so persuasive that you cave in. We feel tremendous guilt when we say no. It plagues us. We chew on it. Finally, we burn out. Exhausting! For us and no one else because they got what they wanted.

Why do we do this?

Because we want to be liked. Agreeable. Kind. We don’t want to be on the outer. Rejected. Or seen as nasty. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. And hear their disappointment.

Yet, we aren’t being kind to ourselves in the process. We forget about ourselves. In addition, we weren’t taught how to say no as young children.

Then we keep apologising and stating our excuses because we feel uncomfortable and awkward after we’ve said no.

Or we procrastinate, put off answering with a no right then are there. We squirm. Go round and round in our heads with all sorts of excuses and lies. We make up stories. Anything rather than simply saying no.

Doing this only prolongs the agony when we say ‘I’ll think about that’. It gives you too much time to think, mull it over, feel guilty and gets you in a right mess. This opens you up to being worn down. And using up headspace for other amazing things in your life. Because it’s always there on your mind.

Saying no starts with me

Saying this mantra to yourself is such a gentle way to get you into the space. It’ll take a while for it to stick and for you to feel comfortable. However, keep saying it and tuning into your body. Gradually it’ll become easy. You’ll notice that your body reaction starts to change, and it has lost its power over you.

Instead of feeling anxious, heart palpitating, procrastinating, getting sweaty hands, you’ll feel strong, confident, calm, and at ease.

You’ll begin to listen to your gut and intuition. That is why it’s important to get used to the sensations in your body. It soon tells you. How many times have you overridden your inner knowing?

Therefore, I teach people to create their own meditation practice to learn how to tune into their bodies and past their thoughts.

12 Ways to say no
What to say to get you on your way

  1. Simply say no without the need to apologise. ‘No thanks.’
  2. I appreciate you asking. Not this time.
  3. Not today. Thank you.
  4. I’ll pass on this one.
  5. No, I don’t want to. (may feel a bit harsh)
  6. Oh, what a shame. I’d love to. However, I’m already committed. (softer)
  7. Not this time. But check in again at a later time.
  8. No, that doesn’t feel right/comfortable for me.
  9. Oh, I wish I could …..
  10. I’m flattered, but no thank you.
  11. I know this isn’t the answer you were hoping for / wanting.
  12. That is so lovely of you. But …….

You may like to add ‘because’ to give a reason at the end. It’s an option. And be careful not to add justifications.

Above all don’t make excuses and elaborate. There is often no need to and you can dig yourself deeper. In addition, it gives the person asking a potential way in to get you to say yes.

There are times where you may need to say it twice and be firm in doing so. It’s about remaining assertive, standing your ground and in your truth. You don’t want to. It’s that simple.

Lastly, where applicable you could provide an alternative. Negotiate by seeing what suits you both and then, only then, say yes. Remember does this feel right for me?

You can always say no once you’ve said yes. It’s OK to change your mind.

In this case practice, practice, practice works wonders.

If you wish to read more on how saying no is also a matter of value, click here. And I’ve also created this guided meditation to support you in at least one of the 12 ways of saying no.

Love to hear what you do and how any of this resonates in the comments. Please share to anyone you think may benefit from this, too.

meet chantal

Chantal Vanderhaeghen is an intuitive guide, small business owner, creator of an international skincare brand, passionate philanthropist and meditation, reiki, tapping and mindfulness teacher. She works with women ready to make changes, shatters perceptions of beauty and perfection, and inspires people ready to become mindful entrepreneurs. She lives with her talented man in the Perth Hills and can be found online at



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