How To Say No (With Conviction)

say no

A pushover is someone who doesn’t know how to say no. The person lacks conviction and confidence.

Saying ‘No’ is a demand to let you be. It’s a demand to respect you.

Whether you say it clearly with a normal tone or you yell it loud and deep – the word No grants you freedom and respect. But you must say it with conviction and confidence.

Saying No doesn’t mean that you’re trying to make the other person feel like crap. No, it’s about having equal respect for one another.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a pushover, if your ‘No’s are frail and weak, then you must strengthen your voice and self-belief.

Tips on Strengthening Your Voice to Say NO

One thing I used to do is say No when I was alone in the car. I would imagine a scenario where someone tried to make me do something I didn’t want to do.

While I imagined this I would say aloud: “No.”

Sort of like having an imaginary argument in the shower except when you speak you can say it out loud in the privacy of your car. It’s a great way to put that mental masturbation to good use:

‘I said No!’


‘Do you know what No means – No!’

So I’d have a bit of a dialogue with myself. Sure it makes you seem a bit crazy, but I was able to train my voice to say ‘No’ with a strong conviction.

(It’s cringey that I used to do this – Rich from 10/15/17)

If that’s not something you like, you can try this more expensive method. Not too long ago I got myself a puppy. And whenever this puppy does something I don’t like, I loudly and assertively talk down to her with one word – No.

Something that’s neat about dogs is that they feel your presence and the mood you vocalize with it.

My dog didn’t know the word No before I bought her. She simply understood it by the way I said it. She still does to this day.

Having a dog is an effective way to learn how to say No with conviction, at any volume. She will obey so long as you don’t give off a sense of frustration. Because No shouldn’t hold frustration.

No is an absolute. Nothing to explain, only to accept.

Final Checkpoint

Practice saying No. Train your voice to say it with conviction. Not necessarily hostility. Just to say it in a way to be taken seriously.

I don’t advise you buy a dog for the sake of learning to say no. But it’s effective in that you have an energy-responsive living creature to react to you. You get a sense of how well you’re doing it.

Anyone can practice when they have privacy. In my opinion, it’s better to start off with a hostile energy and bring it down to a respectable level rather than starting off meek and working it up to the right amount. The initial ferocity can give you the energy and momentum to take confidence in your own word.

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