It’s of great importance that you understand that you are never obliged to do something that you don’t want to. We know that saying “no” and turning down someone can sometimes be very difficult. Here are some ways that you can do that:
- You can just be straightforward about it, without having to explain why you don’t want to do something. This means you just have to say the word: “no” and use your body language, so that you can show that you truly mean it.
- Humor can also help, to avoid akwardness. You can find many ways to make a joke while saying “no”. For example: “I ‘ve talked with my lawyers and it’s a hard pass on that”. If the person asking for your consent still doesn’t get it, choose the first way.
- Lastly, it sometimes can help if you have already prepared some answers, because an immidiate, strict response will show the person your true intentions. You can always use his/her words to respond, in order to show them that you were listening to them. For example, if somebody asks you to hang out, you can respond with: “I get that you want to hang out but I don’t want to.”
It’s possible that when someone asks you something and you want to decline you won’t remember any of this and being afraid that you might hurt their feelings you could find yourself in a very difficult position. Always remember, that even a gesture is enough to say “no”. And silence is in no way consent…
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This article is based on the book: “Can we talk about consent?” Author: Justin Hancock Illustrator: Fuchsia Macaree