simple living

Saying No: Improve How Your No’s Are Received

“That’s what I like about you,” a close friend said to me recently. “I like that I always know you’ll tell me if you don’t want to do something.”

We were four feet apart from each other, on the floor of our local gym. She was stretched across an exercise ball; I was attempting to hold a forearm plank.

“And when you do say yes,” she added, “I know you mean it.”

I set a knee down onto the ground, pausing my physical exercise so I could let my brain run through what she’d just said.

This was a benefit of saying no that I’d never thought of before. I knew what saying no did for me: it gives me time to focus on the things I really care about, it spares me the stress and anxiety of an over-full calendar, and it clears out space inside my head.

But this was something that receiving “no” did for her. For my friend.

It benefited both of us.

For more on this unexpected benefit of saying no, how to improve how your no’s are received, and six lines to experiment with—I’d love to have you join me at one of my favorite websites: Becoming UnBusy. Pop over in one quick click!

A Practical Guide to Saying No


  • Reply
    June 8, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Such sound, inspiring advice! We work with a similar motto with our design clients…we don’t have to do what everyone “else” is doing to have the perfect LBD!-Laurel Bledsoe

  • Reply
    June 26, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Great post and I have over the past year started to say NO more to the things I really don’t want to do. I do find it hard as I like helping others but there really is only so much we can each do.

  • Reply
    Time Out Reads: Shift ~ Slowly Lived Magazine
    July 1, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    […] no but I worry that I’ll hurt their feelings and that they won’t ask again. Erica from The Life on Purpose Project shares how to improve how your No’s are […]

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