How to Learn to Say ‘No’


Answer by Eva Glasrud, on Quora.

A while back, I answered Do women have a harder time saying “no” than men? If so, why?

Basically what I wrote is that everyone in our culture has a hard time saying no. For a couple of reasons, including:

1. Hardly anyone “just says no.” We say, “I would, but…” “If it had been any day but today…” In other words, when people ask for something, you’re probably giving them an explanation as to why you must say no.

But this gives them a chance to try again. To find a little workaround. “Oh, you’re busy this week? How about next week?” “Oh, the drive is too far? Let’s meet half way!” (And, as I discuss below, saying no the first time makes you more likely to say yes out of guilt the second time.)

So if you want to say…

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