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Say "No" by Saying "Yes" to Something Else

Updated on June 05, 2019
See how 239 members reacted on this article

Saying "no" with grace and honesty can be challenging. Sometimes our fear of ending a conversation awkwardly or letting a friend or relative down can nudge us into saying "yes" to things that are difficult for us. When managing a chronic condition, saying "no" can feel more complicated. Will they ever ask again? Will the invites stop coming? Have I said "no" too often?

An alternative way to say "no" is to create a third option, another choice. For instance, you are invited to a barbecue, but you don’t have the energy to socialize in a group setting. You could say, “I won’t make it to the barbecue, but maybe we can get coffee next week?”


Bad days or symptoms arising out of the blue are beyond your control. Asking for a raincheck or suggesting a future get-together instead shows it's important to you but lets you focus on self-care.

Here are some conversations from the community about this topic:

“I have to go to my father-in-law's birthday party and all I want to do is lay down.”

“Our grandson has had baseball games every night this week. We left at 8:30 pm before the second game was over.”

“It's important to find new activities that you can do. Spend time with people that understand.”

Have you found alternative ways of saying "no," without saying "no?"
Share in the comments below.

A myRAteam Member said:

I have a difficult time with saying no and the whole guilt complex thing. My therapist and I are working on it fast and furiously. Unfortunately. she is retiring in June. I can't believe I have to go… read more

posted 7 months ago

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