Because I can only do so much, I’ve had to work out which things I most need and want to do, and that means learning to say no (often when I want to say yes)
I’ve realised I sometimes need to say ‘no’ to myself, as well as to other people. It’s about looking after yourself, not pushing it!

For further information about saying ‘no’ click here

How to say ‘No’

  • Be clear & brief so the other person is certain about what you’re saying
  • You can be warm and friendly, but firm and polite
  • There is usually no need to say ‘sorry’ or to give long explanations when you say no; it is your right to decide what you do (just as other people decide what they do)
  • It is generally best to avoid making excuses or placing blame when you’re saying no – be honest

Here are some ways of saying ‘no’ in different situations. Each of them fits with the ‘rules’ of saying no above – which ones do you prefer?

Hello, can I interest you in buying this amazing new multipurpose cleaner?

Thank you but no, goodbye.
I already have a cleaner that is perfect for me, thanks, so I am not interested.
I might be interested next year, why don’t you come back then? Goodbye.

Please can you organise the next big family gathering?

I can’t do that because it’ll be too much for me to manage alone. I am happy to help with food.
I know it’s something you always do and you’d like someone else to for a change, but I’m afraid there’s no way I would be able to manage.
I might be able to help next time, if I’ve got less on, but right now it’s not something I can take on.

Would you like to come to London with me to the theatre tomorrow?

I can’t because the travel to London wipes me out – maybe we could find something to do together closer to home?
I know you’d love to go and see that show but I can’t come with you.
Thank you for asking! I can’t though – I need more time to prepare for a day out otherwise I can trigger a flare up in my pain.