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Say "No" by Saying "Yes" to Something Else

Posted on June 05, 2019

Saying "no" with grace and honesty can be challenging. Sometimes our fear of ending a conversation awkwardly or letting a friend or relative down can nudge us into saying "yes" to things that are difficult for us. For caregivers, saying "no" can feel more complicated. Will they ever ask again? Will the invites stop coming? Have I said "no" too often?

An alternative way to say "no" is to create a third option, another choice. For instance, you are invited to a barbecue, but you know you need to be with someone you care for at that time. You could say, “I won’t make it to the barbecue, but maybe we can get coffee next week?”


Bad days are beyond your control. However, asking for a raincheck or suggesting a future get-together instead shows it's important to you but lets you bow out with grace.

Here are some conversations from the community about this topic:

"How do I make my husband comfortable when I bring someone in to sit with him for a few hours?"

“I am so frustrated with my siblings making suggestions without offering to help.”

“I’m glad I changed plans to reassure him but I’m looking forward to my girls’ day in the future.”

Have you found alternative ways of saying "no," without saying "no?"
Share in the comments below.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

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