how to say no without being rude

sis, you don’t owe anyone anything. except your mom. call her.

I get it, chances are as you’re reading this you are slightly tired and slightly symptomatic, preoccupied with coordinating between clinic and the pharmacy, managing anxiety during covid, and trying to balance it all.

And then, right when you get into a steady swing of things, you get his text message request. And you have no idea how to tell him:


“NO I don’t want to grab dinner.”

“NO I’m not comfortable going to a party with a group of people during quarantine.”

“NO I don’t to hear about your friend’s friend who has my condition.”

“NO I don’t want you to come over and I don’t want to go there.”

“NO I definitely don’t want your d*ck pic.”

The world would be a much better place if we understood our own boundaries and then actually enforced them.

Stop overthinking it. A boundary is something that if you cross it, you lament over it. If you don’t want company in the hospital because you know that part of your self care is time alone to reflect, don’t allow anyone to visit.

So what do you do when confronted with an option that invades your boundaries?

The first part of understanding your boundaries is to know why you have them. A boundary for the sake of a boundary, doesn’t help anyone. Creating a boundary because it helps you heal mentally, emotionally, spiritually, helps everyone.

Here’s 3 ways I have learned to say NO.

Option 1: The Compliment Sandwich

This is a favorite of every pick up artist out there as well as every middle manager on the day they have to give a poor review of an employee.

The trick is to be genuine. Start with a compliment, say no, end with a compliment.

Example: I love that you want to be here for me during my flare, and it’s something I prefer to deal with alone this time around. Can I call you or hang out with you later on after I’ve relaxed a bit?

OPTION 2: no means not now, not no

Did I confuse you yet? Sometimes when we mean to say no, we actually mean yes, it’s just the timing is off. The trick with this retort, is to offer an alternative in the exact same breath as you shut it down.

Example: I can appreciate you have a story of a friend who has my condition, I just don’t want to hear about what they went through right now. I’d rather spend this time getting to know you more. What have you learned about yourself during quarantine?

Example: I can’t go to the party with your friends this weekend. You can go and have a great time, I just want to be safe during lockdown and for me that means small crowds only. Let’s meet up this weekend?

OPTION 3: no means no

Sis, you can say no as politely as you want and still get the results. You can enforce boundaries with great intentions all day. And there’s going to be a time when you get the text, “You up?”

No means no.

If he sends you a photo you didn’t want to receive, only invites you to hang out when it’s late, doesn’t introduce you to friends or family, doesn’t ask about your day with genuine interest then know this…

you don’t owe him an explanation for your no

BLOCK HIM. If you have to explain yourself and compliment sandwich a grown man because he doesn’t respect your boundaries… BLOCK HIM.

  • Do not settle for less because you think you are a burden.
  • Do not settle for less because of the cost of your medical bills.
  • Do not settle for less because you’re closer to your healthcare workers than a tribe of girlfriends.
  • Do not settle for less because you haven’t had sex as much as your friends.
  • Do not settle for less because the scars on your body make you feel insecure.
  • Do not settle for less because you can’t control your symptoms.

You take care of yourself, you love yourself, you listen to your gut, and you get rid of anyone who pushes your boundaries.

Next up we’re going to be talking about self care. What are you favorite ways to say NO? Comment below

2 thoughts on “how to say no without being rude

  1. Hi Klyn,

    Thank you so much for stopping by My Several Worlds and commenting. I saw your post in Chronic Illness Social Pod and a few people asked for your link in the group. I don’t know if it went up, but I definitely want to be one of those people who always reciprocates when people visit my site.

    On to your post:

    Wonderful advice. I loved the part about not owing anything to anyone except your mom. So true and the way you worded it really made me laugh. Loved how you laid this out strict and straight and no nonsense with some humor thrown in. I also really loved the graphics on this post and I’m looking forward to getting to know you better! Pinned and saved!

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