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How to Say "No" Confidently: Stop Over-Justifying and Apologizing

confidence mindset
woman at desk with hands open explaining

Here is a common scenario: Joe asks Bob if he wants to go to a party on Saturday night and Bob launches into a laundry list of justifications and reasons as to why he can’t go; some of them may even be untrue. Maybe Bob just doesn’t feel like it - but because he’s not confident, he thinks a simple, “No thanks” is not enough of a response (because he believes that something more "legitimate" needs to be the reason for not attending a party.)

I challenge you to stop yourself the moment you start over-explaining or justifying a position you take on anything. When someone asks me to do something that I don’t want to do, I just respond with, “Thank you, but I am not available,” or “No thanks, but I appreciate the invitation!” Sometimes my answer is just factual, “I would love to, but I am out of town. Thank you for thinking of me.”

Of course, some things in life might require a more in-depth explanation, but for the most part, we over-justify rampantly and unnecessarily. Especially people who lack confidence and self-esteem.

How many times a day are you apologizing for things that have nothing to do with you? When did this trend start? Stop saying you are sorry when you are not to blame. Stop justifying your declining of invites. People will respect you more because they know you aren’t BS-ing them and they will accept your “No, thanks,” much more than a weak-ass excuse about why you can’t or don’t want to accept the invite.

Stand your ground and simply say, “No.” 

Saying "No" can be difficult for many people, especially when it comes to social situations. However, it's important to remember that it's okay to say "No" and that you don't always need to explain. Often, people feel the need to justify their decisions or actions to avoid conflict or discomfort, but this can lead to unnecessary stress, conflict, and anxiety. It's important to remember that it's okay to prioritize your own needs and desires, even if it means declining an invitation or request.

One way to make saying "No" easier is to have a few go-to phrases that you can use in different situations. For example, "I appreciate the offer, but I'm going to have to decline" or "Thanks for thinking of me, but I won't be able to make it." These responses are polite, and direct, and don't require any further explanation. It's also important to remember that saying "No" doesn't have to be confrontational or negative. You can still express gratitude for the invitation or request while declining. This can help to maintain positive relationships and avoid any tension.

Ultimately, it's important to prioritize your own needs and desires while still being considerate of others. Saying "No" can seem like a difficult skill to master, but trust me - with practice, it becomes easier and more natural as time goes on.

I encourage you to prioritize your mental health and well-being, and saying "No" is a powerful tool for doing so.

About the author:  Elle Russ is a #1 bestselling author, world-renowned thyroid health expert, and master life coach. Take her Ultimate Confidence Course HERE

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