Saying No — No is a complete sentence – 298

Is it hard for you to say “no”? Do you avoid responding instead of saying “no”? Or, maybe you say “yes” when you want to say “no”.

  • “No” is a boundary.
    • Typically in response to a request or requirement to do something we do not want to agree to do and is not ours to do.
  • What’s the problem here?
    • I feel I have to justify my “no” answer.
    • I’m afraid you won’t like me if say “no”
    • I’m afraid you will respond with anger or disappointment if I say “no”
    • I feel like I’m being mean if I say “no”
    • I feel like I “should” say “yes” but I don’t want to.
    • I say “I don’t know” or “maybe” instead of “no.”
    • I say “yes” but I mean “no.”
  • Do I also have a problem saying “yes”?
  • Do I have a problem committing, in general?
  • Why should I learn to say “no”, period?
    • I don’t have an infinite store of time and energy.
    • Some things are more important than others.
    • I need to set and respect my own boundaries.
    • I’m not comfortable / don’t agree with what you are asking me for / to do.
  • What is the difference between “no” and negativity?
  • Strength of “no”
    • It is an affirmation of self.
    • When I say “no”, it makes my “yes” stronger and more meaningful.
  • When to say no?
    • When it keeps me true to my principles and values.
    • When it protects me from being exploited.
    • When it keeps me focused on my own goals.
    • When it protects me from abuse.
    • When I need the strength to change course.
    • Try saying “yes” and “no” (in your head) and see how each one feels to you.
    • Think about the consequences of saying “yes” (or “no”).
  • How can I say no nicely?
    • “I’ll think about it” — but only if I really will think about it and get back with a “yes” or “no” — not just to put off saying “no”.
    • Use softer language: “I’d prefer not to”
    • At least say it calmly.
    • “That’s really not my responsibility.”
  • How can I say “no” to myself? And when is it important to say no to myself?

Readings and Links

We read from Courage to Change, July 25 and April 13.

Eric mentioned the book Discovering Choices.

Web links we used as resources include these from Psychology Today: The Power of No, When, Why, and How to say No. From Huffington Post, The Art of Saying No. From, No Is A Complete Sentence.

We got some quotes from

Related topics from The Recovery Show include these episodes

Upcoming: our 300th episode

Our 300th episode is just around the corner! I’d love you to share how The Recovery Show has supported your recovery. Did we encourage you to go to your first meeting? Did a particular topic or guest inspire you or give you a new insight? We want to know!  Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. To be included in episode 300, please do so before August 10, 2019.

Music from the show

Lea Rue – I Can’t Say No!

Trigger warning: controlling behavior

Meghan Trainor – NO


Ringo Starr – No No Song


1 comment on “Saying No — No is a complete sentence – 298

  1. Patti says:

    Saying No — No is a complete sentence – 298 – This episode changed my life! I recently retired. A number of people made suggestions and offers about how they thought I should spend my “free” time. Before retiring, I evaluated what was important to me. I had a couple of goals – lose some weight and don’t take on projects which required a lot of computer time as that was my work for 40 years. My Al-Anon sponsor said that I couldn’t avoid calls or not respond to requests. It was part of setting new boundaries, being true to myself, and having the courage to say “no thank you.” I have been active in Al-Anon for over 20 years. My life has changed so I need to practice new skills. This podcast came at the perfect time for me. Thanks and keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.