Honoring Your Yes And How To Say No

Why we say yes when we don’t want to:

We would rather avoid potential conflict by not being truthful or honest by saying no, instead we say yes when asked because we know that no one is pleased to say no.

So we say yes from this subconscious desire for other people to put themselves out for us.

Finally, it’s challenging to say no when honest, self-loving living wasn’t modelled for us.

I’m not saying we don’t do things for others or don’t show up for our family, friends and community, I’m never about that.

Let’s get practical

Ask yourself:

  • Do I want to do this thing or would I be doing it for another reason — like to control how others think about me aka people pleasing?
  • What am I saying no to in my own life by saying yes to this?
  • How much energy do I have and will saying yes fill my cup or not?
  • What’s my self care been like today and this week? Am I tired or hungry or sad or lonely or otherwise not fully in myself and present?
  • Is this offering in alignment with who I am and want to be in the world — my values, goals, beliefs?

Once you know you want to say no, remind yourself there is nothing to feel guilty about when you’re choosing to take care of yourself.

What does it look like to say a kind and loving nope?

  • Thank you for the invite, I’m not available.
  • I’m not joining any more book clubs right now.
  • That’s not going to work for me, thanks.
  • I’m unable to help with that project.
  • I’m not taking on new projects right now.
  • I can’t stay over to help you the whole weekend but I could come Friday night until Saturday at noon.
  • I’m not taking on new clients right now and can’t make an exception for your cousin, but my colleague Molly is — want her info?
  • I’m not available to help with your move, and my neighbor’s teenagers were looking for some gig-work — want me to connect you with them?
  • Helping you rewrite your website doesn’t fit into my schedule right now, and I would be happy to look over your homepage if you can get it to my end of day on Friday.

In closing, I want to remind you that it’s totally okay for you to say no — it really is. Truly.

I want to remind you that when you say yes to something you don’t want to do, you’re actually saying no to something you do want to do.



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Victoria Albina, NP, MPH

Victoria Albina, NP, MPH

Victoria Albina, NP, MPH is a certified life coach, breathwork facilitator, holistic Nurse Practitioner and host of the podcast Feminist Wellness.