Reason #5 Why I Can’t Say No: I hate the sound of that word.
Ugh. It’s like nails on a chalkboard. Saying “no” is SO unattractive. I’m not just talking about a toddler’s “no!” during a tantrum, though that’s irritating. I’m mostly speaking of adult conversation, really, where sentences begin with the word “no”. I once learned in a sales course NEVER to begin a sentence with that word, and for the record, they were RIGHT.
Negativity is exhausting. It weighs down the corners of a smile, puts a sag in the shoulders and a shuffle in the once-springy step.
“No, I can’t,” or WORSE “No, YOU can’t.” Just completely unnecessary ways of putting it. To me, the word “no” is somewhat like a curse word, in that it’s a default word for some, but there are MUCH more creative and pleasant ways of putting things when one puts forth the effort to do so.
So how does a person say “no” when she hates the sound of the word? I’m glad you asked! For your use, (and mine) I’ll provide below a list of suggested alternatives to the word “no.”
- I wish I could.
- Right now, it just won’t fit on my plate.
- I have another idea!
- I’ll have to pass on this. (My favorite, and by far the most effective. Got it from one of my heroes.)
- This is special, and deserves more than I’m able to give right now.
- Ask me again next month. (or year, or century!)
- Let’s try this instead…
- I have all I can handle right now.
- My cup is already overflowing!
- I can’t fit it in.
- I don’t want to disappoint you, but I just can’t.
- It wouldn’t be wise for me to commit to another thing at this time.
- May I recommend ………..?
- Thank you for asking me! Unfortunately I have to say no at this time.
- I’m so honored you thought of me! I’m sad that I have to say no. (See how much more palatable it is at the END of the sentence?)
- …………. just isn’t my specialty.
- I’m keeping my resolution not to take on more than I can handle.
- Awww, man! I can’t!
- Keep me in mind for ………., but …………. just isn’t for me.