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How To Say No: 14 Ways & Tips To Assertively Say No [Simple]

How To Say No: 14 Ways & Tips To Assertively Say No [Simple]

Do you want to say no assertively and friendly without feeling guilty? For example at work, against family or friends? In this article you will find tips, examples and an exercise that you can use directly to say no effortlessly.

Tip 1 – Say no? Then just say no

Just say no. It’s only 2 letters.

The letter N.
The letter O.


Tip 2 – Use the following copy-paste sentences to say no without guilt

You can say no with integrity and congruence – with love and warmth – to respect your own boundaries in the following ways:

  • Thanks for asking, and no.
  • I understand and no.
  • You could be right, and no.
  • I see it could work for you, and no.
  • I care about you and no.
  • I love you and no.
  • I’m afraid to say no to you, and the answer is no for now.

You can also indicate alternative sources for the other that they can call on.

Tip 3 – Use the agreement frame to say no stylishly

say no

Use the NLP agreement frame. This was already applied in the examples from the previous tip. This technique consists of two simple steps:

Step 1: “I imagine you need that …”
Step 2: “And no.”

Tip 4 – Practice already with the word ‘kee’ (Exercise of Omdenken)

Practice in the mirror with the word ‘Yo…’
And after a while replace the letter Y with the letter N.

Tip 5 – Make no your standard answer

Never just do what others ask of you. The standard answer for you is no. A yes is always possible, but not obvious.

I wish I could, but I don’t want to.
– Phoebe in the first episode of Friends

Make as few commitments as possible. Others will not think less of you because of this, but they will find you more professional (that is also the case). But make sure your commitments  which  you are doing, always comply.

You have to make time .

Take this seriously as apparently you’ve said yes too many times in the past and that’s why you’re reading this article. So here it comes: if something isn’t energetically pleasurable or compatible, you have to say no. Once there is already a pros and cons list to consider, your default answer is no.

Tip 6 – Put your no in the form of a yes

You can also formulate your no in a positive way. For example, if someone asks you to do something you don’t actually want to do, don’t say no, say what you do want to do.

Say no to sacrifice, being naive, burnout and say yes to balance, satisfaction and being loved.

Tip 7 – Do you still say yes? Then let the other person appreciate that

What is the magic word? Please and thank you!

Tip 8 – Say yes to the here and now, and that’s sometimes a no

indicate limits say no

Ask yourself: what does this situation in the here and now need? Then actually resolve the situation. There is no ego if you just tell the facts . You say ‘no’ without judgment and story: ‘How dare you ask me that!’ That is complaining and judging. Stick to an actual no. There is then an ‘I’ there who enjoys being personally attacked: the me who enjoys blaming someone.

Don’t let yourself be walked over. Don’t become a doormat. No. Suppose someone asks: “Can I have a thousand euros from you?” Then calmly say, “No.” What you don’t do: “How dare you!” Good actions come from saying yes to the now and sometimes that is a no . “I respect your opinion and I appreciate you sharing it, and no.” The human being is accepted, the behavior is also what it is, and you say no. It’s not a reactive no. It is therefore even a powerful no.

Tip 9 – Break ‘rapport’

When your rapport breaks, you are also saying no, but then it is already clearly visible in your posture and the energy you are radiating. This allows you to say no without actually saying no.

For example, turn your body away from the other and have a different speaking volume and pace. Read more things you can do in this article about rapport.

Tip 10 – Use the ‘positive no’

The positive no goes like this:

“I can only say yes to other things (which are important to us) if I say no to these.”

Tip 11 – Realize that ‘no’ is also an answer

say no limits

If someone asks you a question, one of the possible answers you can give is ‘yes’. Another possible answer is no. One answer is no worse than the other. They are both a perfectly normal answer and can therefore both be used!

Tip 12 – You don’t have to explain your ‘no’

If you want to say no, you say no. You do not necessarily owe an explanation. No is a complete sentence.  Remember that. You’re just done after: no. You don’t have to justify yourself extensively. That is exhausting.

No, I can’t be around that person.

No, I don’t want to take that job.

No, I don’t want to go out today because I feel tired.

I said yes before and I will come back to that now – I am canceling anyway because I need to stay home.

To put it another way, it’s just your right to say no.

Tip 13 – Have your own intentions, goals, dreams and values ​​clear

Saying no becomes very easy when you have your own intention, purpose and dreams clear. If you commit to that, it will be difficult for other things to get rid of it.

It works the same as setting your boundaries: know and communicate your values, so what is important to you.

If it is already late and you want to sleep on time, you can literally label that value: “Maybe we will continue talking another time, because it is already late.”

“It’s late” shows the value of being on time. “So we may continue chatting another time” is the behavior that can be performed very easily because of this.

Why does this work? For this, look at the model of the logical levels . Values ​​- such as sleeping on time – are hierarchically above behavior – such as ending a conversation. You can use a value – or a mission / goal – to influence behavior!

Don’t do anything other than the goal.

You then feel very strongly: “I am no longer available for the things that make me feel like a pile of shit.”

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you will fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.
– Jim Rohn

Tip 14 – Use these practical techniques to say no politely and forcefully

The classic booklet ‘Learn To Say No’ goes even further than this article, contains many examples of saying no and goes further into the essence of saying no – and thus saying yes to all the wonderful things in life. Watch it below.

Tip 15 – Read all about setting boundaries

Do you dare to say no when someone “needs you”? Even though it is clear to you that your night’s sleep is affected? When something or someone claims your time, it not only claims time, but also a piece of your life.

Doing things reluctantly is one of the worst things. It robs you of valuable time and energy and therefore reduces your quality of life.

It’s not easy, because it means that you also have to disappoint people and that you start to feel guilty. But anything worthwhile takes effort. So don’t be afraid to make these decisions . It’s good for you.

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, makes you grow, or makes you happy.
– Robert Tew

You may now see how important it is to actually respect your boundaries. Here you will find a valuable article about setting boundaries.

These were all tips on how to say no neatly, with integrity and assertiveness and in this way indicate your limits. Let us know in the comments what helped you with this!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!