Live Through This

You Made It Weird

How to deal with life’s more uncomfortable social interactions.


How to Say No

  1. Kindly and firmly decline. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is that “no” is a complete sentence, so don’t feel like you have to sugarcoat it. The wordiest you need to get is: “I’m going to have to pass, but thank you for asking.” Done. It’s gonna feel uncomfortable at first, but remind yourself that it’s healthy (for yourself and your relationships) to get people in the habit of respecting your choices.

  2. Practice saying no like this until it doesn’t feel weird anymore.
  3. Optional: Start with a friendly “Thank you for offering this opportunity, but…,” followed by a brief explanation of why you’re turning down the opportunity.

When someone asks you for something you don’t want to give them, the most important thing is to look them in the eye and just tell them you can’t do it. If they persist, persist right back! Sometimes you just don’t have time to (or don’t want to) do something, and that’s totally OK. ♦


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  • lydiamerida September 23rd, 2013 10:35 PM

    Love the advice and the art is fab :)

  • Jenny September 23rd, 2013 10:50 PM

    wow… I love this sooooooooooo much

  • streaked lights September 24th, 2013 12:52 AM

    The artwork is simply lovely!
    And the advice is great, and super relevant to me right now, especially saying ‘NO’.

  • mayafairy September 24th, 2013 4:54 AM

    Thank you for this! I’ve always felt like there was something off with me socially, like I lacked the inner knowledge that told you how to react to every situation. Maybe it’s not just me though!

  • Florencey September 24th, 2013 7:18 AM

    number 5 is so important! the number of times i’ve seen people being complimented and they completely dismiss it. i mean, i know it’s hard to take a compliment if you have low self esteem (i used to be the WORST at this!), but if you really have no idea, then just smile and say thank you. i actually find it really rude if i give someone a compliment and they’re basically like ‘no, your wrong, i’m ugly’.

  • sissiLOL September 24th, 2013 7:25 AM

    <3 <3 <3 <3 Love from Germany!!!!! Thank you for this great article!!!!

  • MaddieMae September 24th, 2013 8:05 AM

    You guys always seem to post the thing I need to read, right when I have questions about it!
    I recently became the editor-in-chief of my school’s yearbook, but I’ve never been IN CHARGE of something so big and important. I’m only a sophomore, and I think some of the juniors and seniors have trouble taking orders from me. But after reading this, I feel more comfortable taking charge. . . and bragging a bit ;)


  • LouderBlues September 24th, 2013 8:40 AM

    I always have problems when I have to say no to a guy hitting on me. Not because I don’t know how to say it but because I never seem to get the message across unless I’m rude. Is there some magical thing I can say to make them leave while being polite or is it just impossible when someone doesn’t get a ” I’m not interested”?

  • Abby September 24th, 2013 10:54 AM

    Can you guys please make this a regular column??? I NEED IT.

    • julalondon September 24th, 2013 11:46 AM

      I SO second this.

  • Tara A. September 24th, 2013 12:27 PM

    I really needed this. I’ve been made head of several clubs in school, and it’s really daunting to be at the top. This really helped me learn about how I need to deal with people.

  • flocha September 24th, 2013 1:06 PM

    I love the stuff about receiving a compliment (something I seriously needed help with….)

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica September 24th, 2013 3:12 PM

    This is fantastic and I love everything about it.

  • elliecp September 24th, 2013 3:22 PM

    fab advice as always – I suck at receiving compliments, hopefully now I won’t mess up so much! <3 thanks rookie <3

  • mariasnow September 25th, 2013 12:55 PM

    I used to be so bad at at taking compliments (turning around to look and see who they were really talking to, stuttering, turning red, uhm, uhhhhhhh) that I decided to actively discourage people from complimenting me on the sly. I would do this by responding like this:

    1. “i know, right!”
    2. saying “THAAAAAAAAAAAANKS!” with a big, cheesy smile
    3. a wink and an elbow nudge, taking care to make this as creepy as possible.

    It was still tricky for about a week but then it got easier because people thought it was HILARIOUS and that put me at ease. So I kind of failed at my original aim of active discouragement but I did get better and can now genuinely and somewhat gracefully accept a compliment.

    If only I could get less awkward about sharing my plans of attending an Ivy League school. It’s really terrible especially when people are shocked by it, I joke around a lot so it’s not readily apparent that I’m an ubernerd.

  • Nadifa September 26th, 2013 10:07 AM

    This article is very useful! Thanks Rookie, for being my free guide to live a life :D
    Anyway, i want to know if you can make an article about studying abroad, especially in the USA. I’ll be graduating from high school next year, but I need some knowledge like tips on how to survive away from home, how to pick the right major (in my case, i love learning English but my parents want me to go for engineering), or how’s the college life in the US. Thank you, your reply will be appreciated :)