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(November 2009)

The Top Ten Worst Ways to Say “No”:

            Ten:     Isn’t it my turn next month?

You’ve got an expectation here that the asker will let you off the hook.  Even if you’re correct, the asker may still want you to do this month too.

            Nine:   I think I hear the teakettle.

Delay isn’t a bad tactic but unless you can whistle be straightforward and tell the asker you will get back to them tomorrow.

            Eight:  I’m not sure I’m the best person for the job.

The asker will think you’re begging for a compliment.  She wouldn’t be asking if she didn’t think you were the perfect solution to her problem. 

            Seven:  How can you ask me to do that?

Answer: Easy

            Six:      Sarah’s so much better at this.

It may be true but she hasn’t gotten around to asking Sarah.  And why should she with easy-going you on the phone.

            Five:     My arthritis is so bad today.

Tea and sympathy you’ll get.  Off the hook…no.  “You sound just fine to me,” the asker responds.

            Four:    I’m so tired.


            Three:  I’m so busy.


            Two:    I’ll pray about it.

Not a good idea…unless you’re praying for the courage to say “no”.

            One:    YES!

So may women mistakenly believe that this is a version of “NO”.  It actually means the opposite.  If everything in us is saying “no” and “yes” slips out of our lips, it will call indigestion, anxiety, and eventually depression.  We need to match out inside answer with what comes out of our mouths.

The Top Ten Best Ways to Say “No”:

            Ten:      NO  (No explanations)

            Nine:    NO  (No diversions)

            Eight:   NO  (No excuses)

            Seven:  NO  (No suggestions)

            Six:       NO  (No whimpering)

            Five:     NO  (No lying)

            Four:    NO  (No beating around the bush)

            Three:   NO  (No pleas for understanding)

            Two:     NO  (No pleas for mercy)

            One:      NO (No…period!)