Saying ‘no’ is tough, so here are some helpful tips to turn down your man without causing an argument.
Please excuse the obvious cliché! But it is true that saying ‘no’ can be difficult or awkward sometimes, even if you know exactly what to say and how to say it.
Sometimes we don’t want to hurt our boyfriend’s feelings, but more importantly than this, they may become angry with us if we deny him something they want (and rightly deserve!). This could lead to bad feelings between you, which is not something that anyone wants.
So without further ado, here are ten techniques that you can use when you need to refuse your boyfriend or husband something:
Tell him why you don’t want to do it.
The first thing you can do is to explain to your partner why it’s not a good idea for you. Be as nice as possible and try to find some freedom in the ‘no’ if you possibly can.
“I know we’ve talked about this for a while, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to cope with that then. You see, my workload is going to be really high at that time, and I just won’t have the energy for it.”
Be as honest as you can about why you don’t want to do something; if your partner truly loves and respects you, they will understand where you are coming from.
When you refuse your man something, it is a good idea to explain why so that they understand your decision and know what to do next time. This will help him in the future when they want to ask you for something else.
Make him happy with something else.
This technique is similar to the one mentioned above, but instead of explaining why you don’t want something, you devise a solution that will make him happy.
“I know we’ve talked about going away for a weekend, and it’s something I definitely would like to do. But next month I have a really important meeting at work which I can’t miss. How about I cook dinner for you on Saturday night to make up for it?”
In this case, your partner may be disappointed because they won’t get the holiday they were hoping for, but at least they will be happy with a home-cooked meal from you!
This is a great way to soften the blow of a refusal. If you know that your partner wants to do something, then offer to do something else for him that will make him happy.
Give him some freedom.
If you’re trying to convince your partner that you don’t want to do something, then one of the worst things you can do is tell him ‘no’ repeatedly. It can come across as quite rude, and they will likely start to get annoyed with you very quickly.
To counter this, give him some freedom and let him do something independently.
“I know you really want me to go with you to that party, but I think I’ll stay at home and relax. Why don’t you go ahead without me and have a good time?”
This gives your partner the freedom to do something they want to do, preventing him from getting angry with you. It also means that you’re not giving in to him and avoiding the confrontation altogether.
Giving your partner some freedom when you’re trying to avoid doing something together is a great way to let him do what they want without it becoming an issue.
Delay the answer.
If you’re not sure whether you want to do something or not, then the best thing to do is to delay your answer. This buys you some time to think about it and makes it easier to refuse if you need to.
“I’ll have to think about that and get back to you later.”
This is a great way to buy yourself some time and prevent your partner from pushing you into something you’re uncomfortable with. You don’t even have to tell him what you need the extra time for; just say that you want it and see if they agree!
This technique is quite simple, but it does work, so it’s worth a try. By delaying your answer for a little while, you are avoiding the immediate confrontation and giving yourself some time to think about the situation.
Keep calm and carry on talking.
When your partner asks you for something, and you don’t want to give it to him, it can be hard to keep calm and talk. You might start to get defensive or even angry, but this is the last thing you want to do.
If you can control your emotions and continue talking to your partner like usual, it will be easier for him to understand where you’re coming from. For example:
“I don’t want to go to that party with you. I’m not feeling well, and I just want to stay at home.”
By keeping calm and carrying on talking, you make it easier for your partner to understand where you’re coming from. This will help avoid any conflict or arguments.
Avoid using the word ‘no.’
The word ‘no’ can be tough to say, especially if you’re trying to avoid doing something with your partner. It’s direct and easy for your partner to understand, but it can also come across as quite rude.
If you want to refuse something, try to use different words instead.
“I can’t do that right now.”
This is a much softer way of refusing, and it’s less likely to offend your partner. You can also mix this up by replacing the word ‘no’ with other terms such as ‘sorry.’
“I’m sorry, but I can’t attend that party.”
Using different words instead of just saying no gives your partner a softer way of understanding what you’re trying to say. This can help prevent any arguments from occurring.
This means that you should be clear and direct with your partner about what you need and don’t need. Don’t beat around the bush or try to soften the blow. Just be honest and let him know that you’re uncomfortable with something.
Don’t change the subject; try to distract your partner or start talking about something else when they approach you with an uncomfortable topic. It makes it seem like there is something wrong with things being discussed.
Don’t get into a power struggle or let any angry feelings arise. There is no reason for both of you to go through an argument every time one of you wants to discuss something uncomfortable.
Talk openly and honestly about your feelings, needs, and wants. This way, you can both have a clear understanding of where the other person is coming from.
If you can’t agree on something, it might be necessary to compromise. This means that both of you will need to give a little bit to agree on whatever topic you’re trying to resolve. By compromising, you’ll be able to both get what you want.
For example, if you’re going out to a restaurant with your partner and they want to go somewhere that you’re not comfortable with, then be open to different options. You can suggest some other restaurants that you would prefer instead.
The keyword here is ‘open.’ If you shut down any possibilities as soon as they are mentioned, then it will be a lot harder for you to agree.
Make an excuse.
Creating an excuse is a great way to say no without directly hurting your partner’s feelings. For example, you could say that you’re not feeling well, have a lot of work to do, or need some time alone. This will help avoid any conflict and ensure that your partner doesn’t feel rejected.
This is particularly helpful when your partner doesn’t like it when you turn him down and wants an explanation every time.
Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with saying “no” outright; you’re just not feeling up to it right now. In that case, making an excuse is perfectly acceptable. Your partner will likely understand that you’re not feeling well or that you have something else to do. Just make sure your reasons are believable!
- “I’m sorry, I can’t. I have a dentist’s appointment.”
- “I’m sorry, but I’m not feeling well today. Maybe tomorrow?”
- “I’m sorry, but I have to work late tonight.”
In this case, you don’t need to feel bad about making an excuse. You can explain why you cannot do what your partner wants and trust him to understand where you’re coming from.
When all else fails, you can always try humor to get out of a difficult situation. It may not work every time, but it’s worth a try if you struggle to say ‘no’ to your partner. For example:
“Well, I’d love to go with you, but unfortunately, I’ve already got a ticket for the wrestling. Maybe next time, though!”
Being able to laugh at yourself and your partner can help you avoid conflict and give you a sense of security in your relationship. If your partner feels rejected and wants an explanation, why not try using humor?
You’re making light of the situation and avoiding potential arguments or conflict by using humor. Again, it might not work every time, but it’s worth a try!
Everyone is different, so not everyone will respond differently to the same techniques. However, these are some great tips that you can use to help you say ‘no’ to your partner.
It’s essential to do what’s best for you and not feel guilty about refusing him if you don’t want to do something. Remember, you have the right to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty!
What are some other ways to say ‘no’ to your partner? Let us know in the comments below!
Joanna Perez is a Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practitioner, a passionate blogger, writer, traveler, wife, and mother of one boy. Joanna loves to share her thoughts on parenting, health, wellness, and lifestyle.
She is a Certified Women Empowerment Life Coach and has done courses on Life Mastery, Happiness, Health, and Success. She also has studied Neuroscience for Parents and took the Skilled Helper Training Course.
She believes in helping people become the best version of themselves and strives to provide quality informative and inspiring content. She loves animals, especially her two cats, and can often be found taking photos of them as they pose for the camera.