As a chronic people-pleaser, I have often faced situations where I wanted to use this sacred word but couldn’t. Saying the word bluntly seemed too mean. So here is a list of other ways this word can be used without hurting the receiver’s feelings while at the same time not making you look like a bad person.

1.     Smile and nod while screaming “no” in your head.

2.     Change the topic and make them more invested in something else.

3.     Fake an illness.

4.     Fake a family member’s illness.

5.     Apply for a visa to a country on the other side of the world so you don’t have to ever face them. (Not applicable during Covid times. Try this after five years).

6.     Perform the task with such mediocre skill that they never ask you again.

7.     Be secular. Celebrate every festival, especially the ones that fall conveniently in the window of this particular ordeal.

8.     Divert the incoming bullet. Suggest viable alternatives in order to not look like a complete jerk.

9.     Hide behind work. Work is worship and you are a true devotee.

10.  Switch on airplane mode and hide under your bed. Wait for the storm of missed calls to pass and then turn your phone back on. Blame Ambani and his multimillion dollar empire.

11.  Fake an accident? (To be attempted only under the supervision of trained personnel).

12.  Convince yourself that it is going to be fun and get mentally prepared to go out and have a good time. But then, somebody else says no and the plan is cancelled.

13.  Pray for a bandh or hartal.

14.  You become suddenly paranoid about Covid safety and use an excuse that everyone else can see through but cannot counter.

15.  Suggest an online meetup and blame BESCOM for power failure (wink wink).

16.  Search online for a voice artist and make them answer their calls. Later explain that your phone had been misplaced and you had spent the entire day searching for it.

17.  If the task requires the use of your laptop then go for the low-hanging fruit— a Windows update.

18.  Start believing in astrology. Establish that this particular task cannot be performed by you in this time frame. Or that stepping out of the house during this time would mean certain death for you and those around you. It is written in the stars so it must be true.

19.  If you own a vehicle then fake its illness.

20.  Make your parents look strict (even if they are actually not). You are an obedient child and will not cross the threshold of the house without their permission (to be applicable only under appropriate circumstances).

21.  As an extension, use nosy neighbours or relatives to your advantage.

22.  Embark on a mission to find your doppelganger. There must be at least one out there.

23.  Alternatively, embark on a mission to find a good plastic surgeon.

24.  Get married. No one will expect you to have a social life afterwards.

25.  Obvious extension— kids.

26.  Start a blog post to rant. Select a huge-ass number like “hundred” to make the title catch eyeballs and then regret it.

27.  Think of outlandish ways to fill up space.

28.  Realize that no one is going to read even halfway through this rant.

99.  It’s time to end this.

100. Take a deep breath and look them straight in the eye. Open your mouth and say the word. Say it once, say it a hundred times.

On a lighter note, I would welcome more suggestions to fill the gap between trick no. 25 and trick no. 100. Unleash your creative excuse-generating skills in the comments section for the greater good of humankind. 

4 thoughts on “Hundred Ways to Say NO

  1. 😂😂😂 lol!! Every trick had me laughing like crazy. And now I’m wondering how many of these you’ve actually used on us. 😂😂😂

  2. Wear a wide smile, do the typical Indian head wobble and say ‘Swalpa kashta’… Generally works!

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