3 Ways to Keep Your Cool When Someone Says No – to You!

Get over yourself – it’s not always what you think

You’ve asked someone to do something for you — with honest intent. And they say, “No.”

Now what?

Before displaying a knee-jerk reaction — one you may regret — keep in mind their response may have nothing to do with you. More important, unless the other person willingly offers a legitimate reason, refrain from asking for an explanation. Then thank them for their consideration and walk away — with grace and poise.

Why? Someday, you may be in the same situation of having to decline another’s request. And you may not want to disclose the reason why.

I’m not suggesting you’re keeping deep, dark secrets inside. Instead, it’s possible your personal circumstances may merit discretion — and are best kept to yourself.

So how do we handle rejection in the form of a negative verbal reply? Being polite when we receive a “no” and we really want a “yes” takes practice. But we may as well get used to it as more people learn the personal power of being truthful and authentic through this simple response.

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when you’re on the receiving end of a “No”

  • Asking for what you want is a skill. Getting what you ask for is a talent. Being successful in achieving your goals is the result of genuine and congruent behavior and intention. Before approaching others to join in your journey or provide assistance, be sure they have a similar mindset and value system. Then, regardless of the answer, be thankful for their honesty, rather than being hurt by their decision not to follow.
  • If you’re with someone you don’t know well, watch for clues and behaviors that may signal reluctance in giving you a “yes.” Trust your instincts before asking for a favor. Because if you make assumptions that are out of alignment with another’s beliefs or agenda, you’ll likely find yourself rejected most of the time. What are the hints the answer will be no? Lack of eye contact, a questioning expression, or a negative disposition may be tip-offs there’s little connection or interest in you.
  • Recognize your own patterns and make a few mental notes about your objectives before putting someone on the spot. One option is to give the other person an “out” right upfront by letting them know your request isn’t mandatory –  and that you’ll respect their availability and interest, even if they can’t help you out. This may reduce any barriers the other party may have in considering whether to say yes.

It’s hard not to take rejection personally – especially when you believe you did everything right. And when the answer is “No” to something you want, need, or desire, it can be a hit to the ego. Because you didn’t believe you deserved to be turned down — not even a little bit.

Give others the space and consideration they need when deciding whether to help you out. And regardless of their response, be thankful they’re being honest with you.

In health & happiness,

Jill Reid

For more helpful tips and strategies on facing your fears and getting your act together, check out the Real Life Newsletter on Substack



Ready to change your direction and start living a better life?

Read the Real Life Series and discover how to face your fears, manage your doubts, and set a course toward a happier future. Available from Amazon. Don’t have a kindle? Download the Free Amazon App Here to read on your phone, tablet, or laptop.