Learn to Say the Hardest Word if You Want to Stay Sober

Learn to Say the Hardest Word if You Want to Stay Sober

Learn to Say the Hardest Word if You Want to Stay Sober

Even if you wish you could put your foot down, most people feel compelled to agree with someone most of the time to avoid an argument. With so much going on, it’s quicker to jump past something than to try and tackle it straight on. Learning to say no can earn respect from people around you. Learn how to do this in a humble, honoring way.

Hard to Say ‘No’

The ability to say no is closely linked to self-confidence. People with low self-confidence and self-esteem often feel nervous about antagonizing others and tend to rate others’ needs more highly than theirs. Women in particular fall prone to this trap. Childhood influences are key to the formation of beliefs about being lovable or feeling like a ‘people-pleaser.’ Your self-worth may have come to depend on what you do for others. This vicious circle develops where others expect things of you all the time but being unable to say no will leave you exhausted, irritable, and stressed. It may also undermine efforts to make you improve your quality of life. If spare time is taken up with meetings and other arrangements, your family life may suffer.

Say ‘No’ Nicely

The challenge to saying no is setting good boundaries with people. They may not be used to it since you have allowed things to pass for so long but it is always good to stop worrying about what others think and start saying no to save your sanity.

  • Keep your responses simple. If you want to say no, be firm and direct. Use phrases like ‘thanks for coming to ask but it’s not convenient time.’ You may also use ‘I’m sorry, I cannot help this evening.’ Try to be strong in body language and do not over-apologize. You are not asking permission to say no.
  • Buy some time. Interrupt the cycle of saying ‘yes’ using phrases like ‘I’ll get back to you,’ or ‘I’ll consider my options.’ This gives you time to respond with confidence later.
  • Consider a compromise. Do this only if you want to agree with the person but have limited time or ability. Suggest other ways that may suit everyone involved.
  • Know refusal from rejection. Remember that you are turning down a request, not a person. Most people will understand when you say no.
  • Be true to yourself. Be clear and honest with yourself about what you want. Get to know yourself better and what you want out of life.


For more than 25 years, Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center has been devoted to helping those who are struggling, to find serenity and recover. With a focus on holistic treatment for the physical, emotional, and spiritual, our program effectively rebuilds and heals what has been broken by addiction. For information on our addiction treatment program in Louisiana, call us today: 866-848-3001