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NO, NO, NO, NO, I cannot say it so I will just say yes! Am I right?  How many of you are nodding your head as you are reading this…..

Why is it that NO seems to be the hardest word to say and not SORRY? You know the song ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’ I am officially changing it to ‘No, seems to be the hardest word’.

Your ‘To Do’ list starts getting longer and longer, people ask you more and more to do things that you are not meant to do or have responsibility for.  No way out? Well there is you just have to find the right way of saying NO without feeling bad or jeopardising any future working relationships.

It is alien to a lot of us to say NO as it is just not in our vocabulary and we find it easier to say yes and then have the internal struggle as we try to get out of whatever we have said yes to. Sound familiar?

Below are some gentle ways of saying no that will fit into your day to day life.  They will not make you feel bad about saying NO, in fact I am pretty sure that they will empower you to use that little word a little more often.


Know what you can and cannot do. Your time is precious to you and when someone asks if you can commit to something new and you cannot do it, simply say “I just cannot at the moment as I am overloaded at present”. Simple and straight to the point


I was the worlds worst at apologising, even if you bump into me I would say sorry! It is a very British thing to do. Simply don’t! You do not have to be sorry for your time commitments. Apologising also gives an edge of weakness when you are saying no.  You have nothing to say sorry for.  You are saying no as you cannot do something. Simple as that.


I used to really suck at this one! Although staying in the office until god knows what time when really it seriously did not do anything for a) my love life or b) my social life.  If they ask you to stay late and you have a commitment be honest and say you have a commitment. Remember asking you to stay late or put additional tasks on your desk are not helpful. Gently mention that extra duties and tasks may slow you down in all the other tasks you are doing etc.  Ask them to prioritise for you so that you are not consumed by their urgency!  That is not for you to deal with. They are the boss and you can gently remind them to prioritise!

Remember The Devil Wears Prada…..  watch it again and take notes!


I was the original people pleaser. To the point, if someone asked me to jump, I would say how high. The only problem with this is that you start to stop spinning plates and they all come crashing down! Then you feel awful and the fear of letting people down becomes a reality! When that happens you go home, sink into a bottle of wine and if like me, you start singing “All By Myself”.  

Value yourself and your time.  No one else will.  Simply be direct and firm.  People will always find an alternative and that is way better than taking up your precious time. Other people’s requests are not on the top of your priority list! Also saying no more and more will earn you respect rather than always being the ‘yes’ person.  Believe me, I know as I have been there and there are still times I struggle with it.


If, like me, you struggle with this word.  PRACTICE.  That phrase practice makes perfect, is 100% true in this case!  You will feel an idiot standing in front of the mirror saying NO.  I have and yes I felt a bit daft although after a little while it became powerful!  I felt good saying NO.  Now I know that saying NO in real life is more daunting than in your bedroom or bathroom.

There you have it! Some simple ways of saying NO and easy ways that makes you feel good.  

At the end of the day you need to feel good!  Saying NO at times makes all the difference in the world. I promise you will notice the difference in how you feel saying it.  I did and remember simply change the word YES for the word NO!

Good luck and keep the NO faith!