Tuesday, April 16, 2024


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Illustration: Christina Avdikou

“No, I will not have the ability to.” These phrases are – for many people – among the many hardest phrases we are able to think about having to say, particularly to our close to and expensive ones. We regularly discover that such denial can rock a relationship – even when we now have the purest of intentions. Is it actually so? When and the way can we are saying “no” with out risking shedding our individuals?

First, let’s dispel the fantasy: No actual good friend will cease speaking to us if we do not go to his feast, his celebration, perhaps even his wedding ceremony. After all, it’s sufficient to be sincere once we say no and to not waste ourselves in giving foolish excuses .

Actually, if somebody has made the hassle to prepare, has invested time, emotion and cash, he’s disenchanted and embittered by those that inform him that they won’t reply to his invitation . However once we actually cannot attend, both as a result of the occasion coincides with one thing else we have already dedicated to and we will not change, or as a result of an insurmountable drawback arises on the final minute – ideally, accompanied by a photograph from the hospital -, there isn’t any room for misunderstandings to come up.

In any case, in fact, the “no” needs to be accompanied by our remorse and disappointment , by a superb and actual excuse and – if that is attainable – by another invitation-proposal. For instance, if we will not be at a good friend’s celebration as a result of we’ll be away on a enterprise journey, we are able to counsel going out to dinner once we’re again on the town.


How do we say "no" without losing our friends?

Illustration: Christina Avdikou


The “no’s” we will not say

There are some circumstances through which we can’t – or mustn’t – refuse. Even when our excuse may be very sturdy. Thus, it’s advisable to not say no:

  • In attending the marriage of any member of the family or good friend, even whether it is their third wedding ceremony. Sure, he might be understanding if there’s a good cause for us to not go, however he needs to be actually critical.
  • At funerals.
  • At any social gathering that has been organized months upfront, until we now have a compelling cause when the invitation is made, e.g. that we now have organized to go on a visit to the Caribbean.
  • To make a speech at a celebration or a good friend’s wedding ceremony.
  • In an emotionally determined name for assist. E.g. Come for dinner, my in-laws invited themselves and I am unable to do it alone.
  • In a well being drawback. When one in every of our individuals asks for our assist as a result of he’s coping with a well being problem, had an accident, and so on., we must always reply in any respect prices.

The instances you possibly can say no (and the correct excuses)

On the Maundy Monday picnic

  • The excuse: As a result of I’ve a sore throat, I have not slept for 2 nights, I am on the breaking point and it is time to relaxation.
  • What’s implied:  I not often do not come, until I am actually unwell.

Within the Easter invitation to somebody’s summer time home with a big group you do not know effectively

  • The excuse: As a result of it appears far for me to drive.
  • What’s implied: As a result of I do not really feel like spending Easter with the household of the children’ buddies from faculty, who I do not actually like.

On the dinner to which all colleagues have been invited

  • The excuse: I’ve company I am unable to depart alone.
  • What’s implied: Do not simply name us whenever you wish to community, name us on a enjoyable event. I choose to spend my weekend with out desirous about work.

On the two-day escape that features hours of strolling within the mountains

  • The excuse: I am undecided I can deal with that a lot train.
  • The implication: Simply the thought of ​​spending a weekend in nature strolling depresses me and would not match my impression of a enjoyable two-day getaway.

The most effective methods to say no

  • No. Sadly I am unable to, however I actually wish to see you, how about subsequent Friday?
  • No. The flu take a look at got here again constructive however I will take one other one the day of the social gathering and if it is destructive then I will ensure to be there to have a good time with you.
  • No. I’ve tickets to the theater that evening, however can we exit for dinner the following day?
  • No. We won’t host you that week as a result of my son is taking exams, however you possibly can come and stick with us after the fifteenth of the month when he can have completed his exams.


We must always by no means say no after which seem on social media in a submit or picture – even another person’s – having enjoyable or doing one thing aside from what we stated.

We thank Dr. for the cooperation . Natalia Koutroulis , psychologist educated in Cognitive Psychotherapy and Counseling. 

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