01/03/2016 06:56 GMT | Updated 02/03/2017 05:12 GMT

31 Ways to Say No

NO. Try saying it. Easy, huh?

Ask any two year old. They really know how powerful the word NO can be.

So why do lots of adults struggle with it? And why are they mainly women?

An older woman friend of mine just cashed in her pension because she couldn't say no to her grown-up kids' demands for a deposit on a house. Her financial future is now precarious.

Another friend won't lose an out-dated hairstyle that no longer does her justice, because her husband has always liked it that way. She hates the way she looks.

A freelance worker I know works long hours for low return because clients tell her they have a limited budget.

Becoming a people-pleaser may keep the peace - even win you friends - but is the personal cost really worth it? Often resentment, dissatisfaction and loss of self-esteem are the result of not being able to say No.

So I've come up with a few ways to say No. Go on, try them.

Really, it's OK to say:

  • No, that feels wrong.
  • No, that sucks.
  • No, that's a rip-off.
  • No, I won't lie for you.
  • No, I won't be drawn into your drama.
  • No, because I respect my body.
  • No, I won't betray a friend.
  • No, I can't fit into your schedule.
  • No, my plate is over-full right now.
  • No, I can't do it for less, that's my rate.
  • No, I didn't 'make' you feel that way.
  • No, I won't join you in bad-mouthing that person.
  • No, it's time for someone else to volunteer to do that.
  • No, please unsubscribe/remove me from your list.
  • No, I don't need the latest 'must-have'.
  • No, I like it even if you don't.
  • No, that's unethical.
  • No, it's a great idea, just not for me.
  • No, there's nothing wrong with my body.
  • No, that goes against my principles.
  • No, I won't be guilt-tripped into it.
  • No, my time is more precious than that.
  • No, I don't care what people think, I'm wearing it
  • No, I don't care if it's in fashion, it looks ridiculous.
  • No, your special offer isn't that special.
  • No, I'd rather stay in and read.
  • No, that makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • No, that's unfair on him/her/those people.
  • No, that's wrong on so many levels.
  • No, I'd prefer a cup of tea.
  • No, no reason, just no. Thanks

The difference between saying OK to something and saying No can be massive.

Life-changing even.

For more ways in which a small change can make a big difference visit do something different at