Please, Just Tell Me “No”

Years ago, when I lived in San Diego, I attended a Filipino church.   The congregation was the friendliest I’ve ever seen and they served delicious food.

However, I soon learned that saying “no” outright was not part of their culture.  Instead of saying “No,” they would defer the decision  (“I can let you know on Friday”) or use some sort of delay tactic such as saying “I need to check with family,”  when, I would later learn, they really meant “No.”  Outright refusal was seen as an insult.

It about drove me crazy.

I’m a “let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and ‘no’ be ‘no”’ kind of person.

I probably drove them crazy.

And then I moved to Minnesota, land of Minnesota Nice or maybe I should say the land of passive-aggressives.

People generally ARE really nice here, but once in a while I notice a reluctance to say “No.”  Instead of saying “No,” some people agree just to avoid looking mean or selfish or to avoid confrontation.

Well, for those of you who have trouble saying “No.” I just read an article that gives you 20 ways to say it:

20 Ways to Tell Someone “No”    If I can say it truthfully, I might add “I’d love to, but . . .” in front of these responses, to “soften the blow” even more.

Do you have other ways of saying no that work for you?



About Diane Windingland
I speak for organizations that want their people to have better, more profitable conversations.

One Response to Please, Just Tell Me “No”

  1. Hey Diane! I am a Filipino yet it also drives me nuts when my fellow countrymen give me the runaround. What’s making it more challenging for me is I am an empath, a highly sensitive person. I can feel, sense, know what the other is feeling and thinking. So when what they say isn’t truly what they feel or think, that can really drive me up the wall! I so understand it’s a cultural thing but I am also grateful that it is something that I have unlearned. A direct response makes interacting and relating so much easier. You can probably just imagine how so much more difficult it is for a man to date or have a relationship with a Filipina – women in general can be less direct than men, add to that the Filipino blood. That would really be a lesson on patience and understanding for the guy! 🙂 I think we can simplify our lives, and of those we interact with, by simply saying NO – no need for any reason, excuse, or explanation. Anyways, I came across your site because I was looking for a “NO” sign that I can use in my blog. And I’m going to use it and I hope I will not get a NO for an answer 🙂 Thanks, blessings and love & light!!!

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