How Do I Say “No” to People? It Feels Mean!

Rachel can’t say “no” to people, especially guys. She feels saying “no” makes her mean.

People Taking Advantage of You

Dawson: Rachel, what’s going on with you tonight?


Rachel: I have a problem where I can’t be mean to people, and I can’t stay no…mainly to guys.

Dawson: No to what?

Rachel: I just can’t say no if they ask me a question or to do something. I don’t want to be mean, so I say, “okay” and I do it.


Dawson: It’s not a matter of you wanting to be mean or not wanting to be mean. It’s a matter of you wanting to be loved or accepted and not being accepted.

You are a tender person. You are a kind person but, in the end, this is peer pressure and your fear of being alone.

Rachel: Yes, I can understand that.

Dawson: Alright, so, you need to identify it for what it is. And these people that know that you can’t say no…especially guys, but also girls will take advantage of you.

So, what you have to do is get your thinking straight first. The bible says, “Speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15) You can be very kind and also say no. Be kind, firm, loving, honest. So, what you need to do is practice. Some guy comes along says, hey, I want you to do this, that and the other. Say, “That’s not part of my value system. That’s not what I believe I need to do. I care about you, but I can’t go there without me really being scarred.

Practice what you are going to say beforehand, so you’ll know exactly what to say when it needs to be said.

Learning to say “no” when needed is part of self-care. Here’s a great video on what is self-care and why it’s important

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