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Say "No" by Saying "Yes" to Something Else

Posted on June 05, 2019

Saying "no" with grace and honesty can be challenging. Sometimes our fear of ending a conversation awkwardly or letting a friend or relative down can nudge us into saying "yes" to things that are difficult for us. When managing food allergies, saying "no" can feel more complicated. Will they ever ask again? Will the invites stop coming? Have I said "no" too often?

An alternative way to say "no" is to create a third option, another choice. For instance, you are invited to a barbecue, but the environment might not be safe for you or your child. You could say, “I won’t make it to the barbecue, but maybe we can get lunch next week?”

Allergy exposure can be beyond your control sometimes, especially in new situations. Asking for a raincheck or suggesting a future get-together instead shows it's important to you but lets you focus on self-care.

Here are some conversations from the community about this topic:

"My first instinct was to tell her, no, but instead, I said I would discuss it with my partner."

“How do others deal with being around people at work or in social settings when you don't want to make a huge deal?”

“I will decline your kind offers of food and choose my own.”

Have you found alternative ways of saying "no," without saying "no?"
Share in the comments below.

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