Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Learning to Say No

Learning to Say No

Getting Started

Do you often say yes when you'd rather say no? Maybe you agree to something because it feels easier in the moment. But you regret it later. Think of your thoughtful no as an act of kindness for your future self. Here are some tips on how to do it.

  • Write down how often you say yes and how it makes you feel.

    What did you say yes to that felt bad? What did you say yes to that felt good? Include details. For example, write about where you were, who else was there, and why you said yes.

  • Give yourself permission to say no.

    You know what's best for you. And your needs are important. Tell yourself it's okay and healthy to take care of yourself.

  • Practice saying no.

    Practice with a friend you trust. If this feels awkward, do it in front of your mirror or your pet. Use "I" statements and kind words. For example, say, "Thank you for the invite, but I prefer to stay home tonight."

  • Get the details before saying yes or no.

    Listen closely. Be curious and ask questions. Then take some space to think about your answer. Give a thoughtful answer that feels good to you.

  • Be calm and firm when giving your no.

    If you have big feelings, take a moment to self-soothe. You can focus on your breath. Take a long breath in through your nose. And breathe it out through your mouth. You can do this a few times. When you feel calmer, give your answer.

  • Be clear with your no.

    If you mean, "I'd rather do it another time," then say that. Or if you mean, "I prefer not to do it," then say that. Don't frame your no as a question. And try to keep your tone of voice firm, not apologetic.

  • Say yes when you really want to.

    A thoughtful no may lead you to a thoughtful yes. Agree to activities, projects, and other stuff that you know make your life better.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Teaching Your Young Child About Consent Teaching Older Children and Teens About Consent

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details