This site uses cookies, your continued use implies you agree with our cookie policy.

How to say 'No' and be Heard!

How to say 'No' and be Heard!

It is not always easy saying No to people, even the most assertive people find it hard. Maybe in the past people haven't listened to you? However now is the time to take control of situations and say No when you need to or when you want to. All it takes is a bit of practice, see our top tips for saying No and getting heard!

Remember your Basic Assertiveness Rights

  • I have the right to say “No” without feeling guilty.
  • If you are going to say “No” – do it straight away. Delay makes it more painful for everyone.
    Give your reasons. The clearer they are the better.
    Show you care. It is often emotions rather than the facts that make saying “No” unpleasant.
  • Take responsibility for any contribution you have made to the situation e.g. “I should have explained earlier.”
  • Give constructive options for the future, if there are any, but… don’t be unrealistic and promise things you can’t or don’t want to do.
  • Practice saying “No”. Run through what you are going to say in your mind, or even better, say it out loud or to a friend you trust.
  • Once you have said “No” walk or move away. Staying may mean that your mind is open to change.
  • If your answer is not accepted or respected immediately, don’t worry. It may take time and it may never happen. All you can do is try. You are looking after yourself, taking control of your life and showing respect not only to yourself, but also to the other person, by being honest.
  • Repetition, repetition, repetition! Don’t feel you have to state lots of different reasons to why you are saying “No”. If the other person is insistent, keep repeating your initial reason and stick to it. 10 times if you have to!


You may also want to see our articles on Self EsteemImproving Self Confidence and Basic Assertiveness Rights 

< Back to Health & Wellbeing