Posted in friendship, kindness, Love, social media

The Art of saying “No”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after an eventful weekend. My computer died this weekend, so of course, I had to rush right out and get a new one because, you know, writing, right?


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So that’s why this post is late. But enough about that. What I’d like to talk about today is Social Media and its effects on communication skills.

I’ve noticed a trend happening with social media and that is when someone sends you an instant message, and if you don’t want to chat with that person, you don’t respond. You just ignore the message. Now, I understand, maybe you don’t want to chat with that person or don’t want to participate in the activity they’re asking you to do, but is just ignoring them and hoping they’ll get the hint the best course of action?

Photo on Visual Hunt

This trend is disturbing. Why? Because we as human need to be able to say no. We need to be able to do it without offending the other person. What happens when we’re in a face to face situation and we’ve got to tell the other person we don’t want to do what they want to do?

What if that person is your boss? Are you going to just walk away and pretend he didn’t ask you to participate in that meeting?


Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images on Visual Hunt / No known copyright restrictions

This is a skill our kids will need to master if they’re going to make it in the working world. We need to communicate negative information in a diplomatic way. Social Media is breaking down the barriers in a lot of ways, but it’s also putting up walls.

I find it so odd that people can’t say no and just be honest and say: “I’m not interested in that kind of activity, but thanks for asking.”

That’s not offensive in the least. It states your lack of interest, so the person doesn’t feel rejected, and they’re able to recognize this rejection isn’t personal, and it’s polite. You can say no without hurting your friend’s feelings.

Another positive aspect of being able to say no is that it communicates your lack of interest in that activity, so your friend will probably remember this and won’t ask you to do it again.  Being able to say no allows you to establish boundaries.

So does ignoring messages on Social Media, but ignoring messages damages the friendship and creates an environment of distrust. Your friend is left wondering why you’re ignoring them. Did they offend you? Are you upset with them? Telling your friend “no” is also good for them. They aren’t left hanging and wondering what happened between you two. They can move on and ask another friend to participate and your friendship is still intact.  So, learn the art of saying no in a compassionate way. You’ll be glad you did. 😊

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you tell someone No without offending them? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!





I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

39 thoughts on “The Art of saying “No”

  1. I completely agree with you. I much prefer receiving a message back or face to face rather than being ignored. I normally tell the person “thank you for inviting me/sending the message, but unfortunately I’m not interested/ I don’t really want to go because of this…this…this…” there’s always something you can say rather than ignore.

  2. Excellent point, Lisa. Saying no is a kindness when done respectfully. Parenting requires a strong “no” ability too. I have admired friends of mine able to say, “Gosh, thanks for the invite—but that’s just not my thing.” I think we get confused that saying no means we’re being selfish. Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes I know I’ve declined to participate for the wrong reasons. But when respect is there, and kindness too, no is a gift.

    1. You are so right, Angela! I’d rather hear a no because….than a huge ignore. It’s horrible to be left hanging! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it!

  3. Great observation. While some people understand when you say you will be back soon or you are busy now others are unreasonable. That is why some people prefer to ignore and only revert when they want to.

  4. What I wanted to add is that some people are too sensitive nowadays. And so ignoring some of them seems like an easier option for some. That does not mean I agree with those actions, but I would like some people to get thicker skin.

  5. I so agree with you! It seems that ignoring has replaced discussion. I now know that if a friend ignores something I’ve brought up in an email, it means she doesn’t agree with it. I actually find ignoring the fact that I’ve spoken much more rude than ‘I don’t agree’. And yes, people are too easily offended these days. There’s nothing WRONG with everyone not nodding and agreeing with you!!! I’d rather someone said what they actually thought than gave me yet another insincere ‘like’.

    1. I so agree with you! Everyone’s entitled to their opinion and saying no. You can agree to disagree and move on. I’ve seen it happen. The world doesn’t come to an end. LOL! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it!

  6. This is so important! I come across this more often now than ever before. I feel like ignoring texts is extremely rude. I may just have to send this article to a few family members. 😉

  7. I have to admit, I’m guilty of this, but it’s usually when I connect with someone on LinkedIn. Within minutes of accepting the connection request, they immediately send me a message wanting to sell me their services. This is after they don’t personalize their initial request, either, which is a sore spot with me! But you are right.. we shouldn’t be afraid to say ‘thanks, but no thanks.’. I’ll try to be more conscious of this going forward, thank you, Lisa!

    1. I have to admit, I’m guilty of that as well. I don’t answer many direct messages when I connect with someone, and we haven’t established a relationship especially if they are trying to sell me something. What this post was aimed at is people who have already established a friendship or a relationship and then all of a sudden there’s no response to a message. It’s such a strange feeling especially when they continue to interact and communicate on your social media posts. That’s the situation I’m talking about.

    2. Thanks for stopping by, Denise. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and you’ve allowed me the opportunity to clarify what I meant. I didn’t think of those types of messages while I was writing my post. I probably should have clarified that early when I wrote it. 🙂

  8. I agree with what you say here. Mind you, I do think that however you address it, there are some people that always will take offence and take it personally! There’s nothing we can do about that though, all we can do is state what’s right for us.

  9. That is so true! Being direct and clearing the air is so much healthier for a relationship of any kind! And we won’t be miserable if we do what we don’t want to do making everyone else miserable too!

  10. Great post Lisa. Good suggestions. I never really realized that ignoring a text is rude. I don’t usually do it (on purpose anyway) but there are people who don’t respond to mine.

    I found you over on Susie’s blog. Will try to pop over here now and then. I’ll hit the follow button. It’s nice to see what fellow authors are doing.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  11. Hi Lisa, I came here via Susie’s blog party.
    I could not say NO for a very long time. I would not say NO and then feel bad about it or ignore the message and feel guilty about it. Either ways I was at the receiving end.
    But off late, when I started valuing my time and “how I am feeling” more than anything else, I find it easier to say NO and that is such a relief.

  12. I could never learn diplomacy but could always say no with my looks or even with words. There are people who don’t expect a “no” and take offense but I could never be intimidated by them, even bosses. Saying no at the social media is much easier and we can even choose our words carefully.

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