The Easiest Ways to Say No Without Sounding Offensive

Do you remember this nursery rhyme:

                             Wherever you go (go-go-gon-go)

                                 Wherever you are (si-si e-k-o)

                                            Do not say yes

                                  When you mean to say no


Funny enough, after years in primary and high school, it was recently I got a deeper meaning of this song. I’m sure the same thing might apply to a lot of us. Smiles.

Throughout our childhood, we were made to believe that “saying yes” is the attribute of ‘omoluabi (a nice girl).’ Consequently, the day you give mum a ‘no’ as an answer, there won’t be dinner for you. As a result, we grow up with that same mindset of saying “yes! yes! yes!” to everything. But the truth is “saying ‘no’ does not always show a lack of generosity,” says Paulo Coelho, “and saying ‘yes is not always a virtue.'”


Learning to say ‘no’ is one of the most essential skills every woman must acquire. In the words of Warren Buffet, “the difference between successful people and really successful people is that the really successful people say no to almost everything.” Saying no saves you stress, reduces unnecessary workload making you highly productive which the bedrock of success. Now the question is, how do we say no without offending others? Let’s check out these few gimmicks.

  1. Set your priorities and stick to it.

Set your priorities as clear as possible and stick to them. That will be a good reason to reject a contraband. Let’s assume one of your priorities is to lose 5 pounds within a week, so you have to cut down a number of calories in your meal and probably visit the gym every 6:00 pm. At the same. Then suddenly, a friend asked for your help in preparing for an interview the next day. This is already in contrast with the promise you made to yourself, so the best thing to say is ‘no.’

  1. Negotiate

Based on your priorities, you know accepting another task might wear you down, but you don’t want to hurt her. Don’t give in to that temptation of saying “yes!” Instead, negotiate. Tell her how much you wish to help, but due to certain reasons (give her reasons but don’t be too detailed), then suggest other ways you could be of help or another time that will be convenient for you. For instance, a friend asked you out for a dinner, but you have an interview the next day at 8:00 am.

  1. You could buy time.

Instead of saying ‘yes’ too easily and later burn yourself out in regret, the best approach replaces the usual “yes” with words like “do you mind I think about it?” “kindly give me some time; I’ll get back to you.” This gives you the opportunity to weigh the request if it’ll be convenient or not. Don’t keep him/her waiting, revert as soon possible. Instead of ‘yes,’ buy time to think about the consequences.

By Beatrice Mokwunye



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s