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13 Ways to Say No to Avoid Unnecessary Stress and Anxiety

13 Ways to Say No to Avoid Unnecessary Stress and Anxiety

Have you ever put yourself into a stressful situation by agreeing to something you really didn't want to do? Why did you say "yes"? Was it because you couldn't say no? Don't allow yourself to get into that predicament any longer. Instead, keep your healthy thinking in tact by learning to say no when you mean it. 

1. No

It's simple and it's straight to the point. Sometimes it can feel too direct, but sometimes it's exactly what you need to say to avoid any unnecessary situations or feelings. 

2. No, I'm not interested. 

If it doesn't sound fun or interesting don't be afraid to point that out. While some uncomfortable experiences may be worth your while, there's no need to add an extra layer of anxiety by coaxing yourself into doing something that you're just not that interested in. 

3. No, thank you. 

Now, this is a safe play. You're saying no, but you're still acknowledging the ask. 

4. Thanks, but I can't. 

There's no need for explanation as to why you can't, just leave it as you cannot. And definitely, don't make up an excuse or lie that you'll have to dig yourself out of later. 

5. Thanks for thinking of me, no thanks.

Begin your sentence with gratitude to allow the let down to feel a bit more smooth. 

6. Sounds tempting, but no. 

But it will be fun, they'll say. This no acknowledge their excitement but still gives you the out with a solid no. 

7. Ask another time

This response is fantastic for those that know they may have some follow up or guilt. It acknowledges that you are just not in the right place or frame of mind, but they do have your permission to ask when you are. 

8. Let me think about it

Maybe you're not quite ready to say no, but don't want the anxiety of the on-the-spot answer. Let it go and give yourself some time with a let me think about it. Just be prepared for their request to pop up again. 

>>The Complete Guide to Anxiety and Sleep

9. I appreciate you thinking about me, but no. 

Like the thanks for thinking of me, this time you're giving appreciation for the thought. There is a difference in that you are acknowledging them reaching out to you and and giving gratitude for thinking of you. 

10. I'll pass.

It's a bit softer than a straight no, but still gives solid foundation in your answer. 

11. Not this time. 

Sometimes, you truly don't want to do something now. Maybe it's a stressful time in your life, your anxiety is high or you simply don't have time in your schedule. Whatever it is, saying "not this time" will keep invitations open in the future. 

12. That isn't doable for me. 

Asks can be heavy and if it, let your requester now that isn't something your capable of. It doesn't show your weakness. As matter-of-fact, this answer shows your strength in knowing both your boundaries and limitations. 

13. I'm booked. 

If all else fails, use your schedule as your response. If your time later frees up, you can revisit the request or use that precious time for self care. 

13 Ways to Say No


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  • Hi Jessica, thanks for commenting! Confrontation can be tough and cause stress. TouchPoints may help you handle this better and reduce that stress. See if they’re a good fit for you at no risk with our 30 day money back guarantee policy. Use 10FORYOU at checkout for 10% off. :)

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  • I feel stress after any form of refusal. For some reason, I always think that with my refusal I will hurt a person (even if he really does not care). Probably, I just don’t have enough self-confidence, so I often put myself in unpleasant situations and agree with many proposals, which I don’t want.
    But “no, thank you” seems to be the most polite form. And I use it most often.

    - Jessica Davis

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