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Therapists Explain How to Say No Without Hurting Someone’s Feelings

Saying that it can’t be difficult for some people. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and you don’t want to come off as the bad guy. However, you know that you must pronounce that two-letter word. It is a difficult position in which you have to say no.

Telling a person no without hurting them is possible. Occasionally, you may not be able to avoid the consequences, but in most cases, if you are dealing with a reasonable person, you can say no without any emotional damage. Read on for therapists’ suggestions on how to say no to someone without hurting their feelings.

Put your health first

The first thing to do is realize that sometimes you have to tell people no for your own health. You cannot be a person who says “yes” all the time; be like that can be emotionally draining. You may want to please people, but it is not logical to think that you can please everyone.

Some people say yes because they feel guilty when they say no to a person. As a psychologist Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D.He says, “… guilt is an emotion reserved for when you do something wrong.”

There is nothing wrong with saying no to a person. It will help if you let go of feelings of guilt or fear of disappointment. Put yourself first or else you could end up stressed because you’re doing things you really don’t want to do.

Telling people no or disagreeing with them is sometimes essential to your mental health. Be a person who can:

  • Reduce your value in the eyes of others and yours
  • Because you miss the things that are for you
  • Make it look fake.
  • You inevitably experience burnout
  • You have problems with interpersonal relationships.
  • Lead to poor decision making

These are just some of the consequences of be a person who does. Dr. Sheri Jacobson, Ph.D., a retired psychologist, suggests that the inability to tell people what childhood problems, so you may need to seek therapy for this. Whatever the reason, it is imperative that you learn to tell people no sometimes in order to stay sane and reach your full potential. Once you’ve gotten over the guilt feelings for telling people no, you can move on to the part of not hurting their feelings.

How to say no without hurting people’s feelings

One of the main reasons why people’s feelings get hurt is a lack of communication. The word cannot be so definitive that a person feels that he does not have the opportunity to deny it. Most people don’t expect a negative answer, so when you say it, their expectations are shattered.

You couldn’t be harmless. You could have a good reason to say no. However, emotions are impulsive, often appearing in the blink of an eye before clarification occurs.

That’s the main reason people’s feelings get hurt when you say no. It is also the fact that they have already convinced themselves that you will say yes.

None of these reasons have anything to do with you, what you said or what you did. However, as a rule of society, you should try to soften your no. After all, you don’t want to go around hurting people’s feelings all the time. Here are six ways to soften the blow.

1. Tell them the reason for no.

In many cases, telling the person why they refused can save you a lot of hurt feelings. Misunderstandings happen very often, and sometimes you may not be aware of them. Explaining yourself prevents these misunderstandings from happening.

Of course, if your reason is something negative, like you don’t like the person, don’t say it directly! That will do more than hurt feelings. It will cause conflict.

Take the moment as an opportunity to resolve negative feelings towards that person. You may be surprised at the result.

2. Be nice when I say no.

Your tone of voice and body language can emit certain nuances when you speak. You may just be saying no, but your body may be signaling a more sinister response (in the eyes of the person you are talking to). In fact, you may not realize that you are giving off vibrations with your body language.

Dr. David Matsumoto, Ph.D., professor of psychology at San Francisco State University and an expert in the field of facial expressions and emotions. He says that when people try to hide their emotions, they often emit microexpressions. These are unconscious, full-faced expressions that indicate how a person is feeling. Dr. Matsumoto says that other people may not register the full facial expression because it happens so fast, but they are aware that something about the person has changed.

You can’t control micro-expressions, and in many cases, your body language happens instantly before you even think about it. However, what you can control is your kindness. Giving a Kind answer You could cancel these micro body movements that you don’t know about.

Use a nice, relaxed tone. Smile and look the person in the eye. Even if you are saying no, try to give a general positive answer. Kindness can go a long way when trying to avoid a person’s feelings while saying no.

3. Suggest an alternative.

Instead of a resounding no, try thinking of an alternative. Maybe you could rearrange your schedule if it’s an activity, an outing, or something that takes time. If you can’t rearrange your schedule, you might suggest another schedule. If it’s more of a question, maybe you could put it another way, so it doesn’t sound too harsh.

Sometimes thinking of an alternative to can’t make everyone happy. You don’t necessarily have to say yes, but you can fill in the no so it doesn’t fall as hard. People want to be reassured that you still like them, that you aren’t mad at them, or that you don’t think they’re a problem.

4. Do the good-bad-good scenario.

You could try inserting the no between two good statements so that it doesn’t seem so straightforward. For example, if someone asks you to go to lunch at X Cafe with them, you could say something like, “I wouldn’t mind having lunch with you. However, I can’t do it today because I’m busy, but maybe another time because X Cafe has great salads. “

The good-bad-good scenario incorporates the first two suggestions above. It combines them all to allow you to say no while keeping the other person’s feelings intact.

There are psychologists who suggest that the good-bad-good scenario does not facilitate the blow. However, this opinion applies to negative feedback interspersed between compliments. That is not what you are doing here. You are simply inserting your no between two points that are more positive.

5. Don’t make up a lie.

It can be tempting to make up a lie about why you are saying no, but this will only explode in your face. First of all, unless you’re a frequent liar, it’s hard to make up a good lie on the spot. Also, it is usually quite obvious when someone lies to get their way. The person you are lying to will quickly find out.

This means that the person you just said no to will no longer trust you. He has lied to them and hurt their feelings. It’s hard to come back from that.

No matter how difficult it is, be honest. Tell the person no and tell them why. You don’t have to be mean about it. Just follow the first three suggestions and you will be fine.

6. Stop thinking that it is not the same as hurting feelings.

There is a good chance that you are not hurting people’s feelings. You can only think you are hurting people’s feelings. Dr. Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D., suggests that it is a the person’s own thoughts They lead to hurt feelings, not the action that happened or what was said to them.

This is similar to what was mentioned above – you may not want to hurt by saying no, but the person’s emotions make them feel like you want to hurt.

To take this a little further, the person’s feelings may not be hurt at all. Instead, it is your feelings about the situation that makes you think your feelings are hurt. Please stop and think for a moment before assuming your feelings were hurt.

Final thoughts on saying no without hurting someone’s feelings

It may seem a bit unfair that you have to be responsible for other people’s feelings and put yourself first. Especially when you really don’t mean to hurt. It’s hard enough telling them no in the first place.

The good news is, it’s not hard to be considerate of other people’s feelings when you say no to them. The six tips given above, along with tips from the counselors, will make it a piece of cake. Put these tips into practice and you will soon be an expert at saving people’s feelings while saying no.


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