3 “Pretty” Ways to Say No

We live in a culture of “nice.” Apparently, it’s not nice to say “No.” ~ Janine Helligar

By now, you know that I’m a little obsessed with the word “No.” But, hey, I understand that saying “No” is hard, maybe even impossible, for most of us. Well, I’ve got you covered.

Ta-da: Here are three “pretty” ways to say “No” when you want to be honest, but, frankly, you are feeling just a little Pee Wee Herman, or for those instances when a flat-out “No” just ain’t right:

  1. Make it pretty with a simple “No, thank you.” The trick here is to keep your tone low but firm.
  2. Make it pretty with a direct “That won’t work for me.” This one works best if you look them in the eye and do your sincerest beauty contestant smile.
  3. Make it pretty with a forthright “I’m not interested.” OK, be careful with this one. Again, begin with that smile, and then follow-up immediately with “Please, pass the gravy” or something similarly mundane.

But here’s the real clincher: The key to successfully using any of the strategies above, or even saying a simple “No,” is that you have to will yourself to shut up after you utter the key word(s.) Zip. Zilch. Nada. I mean it.

Because the minute you start explaining, you’ve lost your power. Please, I beg you. After all the internal angst it took for you to finally take the leap into the pool of “my thoughts matter and I value my feelings,” don’t ruin every thing!”

Quite frankly, I think these are marvelous stand ins for the simple “No,” don’t you think?! You are still “nice” and you’ve stood up for yourself. This is win-win.

Of course, the appropriateness of each technique will depend on the place, time, and person you are engaging with. Listen to your gut and choose wisely.

Call-to-action: Chime in, please. Do you have another way to a pretty “No?”

If you like this, check out these related posts:

Is this a dirty word?
Why You Should Say No

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