Do you get tired of people asking you to justify self-care? Are you sick of answering probing questions about “what’s wrong now?” when you need to reschedule something?

Me, too! Today I’ve got my favorite phrases for shutting down those conversations and moving into more productive territory:

I think this is something we all deal with, so I came up with a bunch of tips to help you – adapt them to your particular needs.

*AWAP = As Well As Possible

Now it’s your turn:

How do YOU handle conversations where people push back when you set boundaries? I want to know! Tell me all about it in the comments below.

Want more #AWAPwednesday? Check out our #AWAPwednesday video playlist, which has more than 130 videos packed with practical advice, lots of humor, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers.

Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email.

Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches!


(Rough) Transcript:

Aw, thanks, but I’ve gotta wash my hair. Gee, that’s a nice invitation, but I have another commitment. Wow, you’re tenacious — thanks, but no thanks. Aw, hell no!

Hi! I’m Jenni Grover Prokopy of and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible).

Each week, I offer you my personal favorite tips and techniques to help you craft an incredible life beyond illness. Yes! I know you can.

Subscribe to the ChronicBabe YouTube channel today to make sure you never miss another video, OK?


Today I want to talk to you about saying no to people when they won’t stop buggin’ you about your chronic illness (or limitations related to it). I was talking with a friend the other day, and she lives in a community where people really push and push if you say no — they demand an explanation.

I think that’s baloney! Most of the time, when you say “no” to someone, you don’t owe them a detailed explanation. But people can really make us feel like we have to explain ourselves. Today, I’m sharing a few strategies I’ve learned through the years that shut down unwanted conversations.

Let’s say you need to cancel a coffee date with a girlfriend because you’re having a flare-up. You call her and say “I’m having a flare-up, so I’m sorry but I need to reschedule.” She responds with: “But why? I thought you were fine yesterday?” You could:

  1. Go into a lengthy explanation of your unpredictable chronic illness and its daily attempts to steal your fun. (That can be a real downer for both of you!)
  2. You could get defensive, and end the call abruptly. (That could damage your friendship!) Or…
  3. You could use one of my conversational tricks to steer your chat in a productive direction. (Everybody wins!)


Let’s go with C, shall we? You can try out a number of responses when someone pushes for a detailed explanation:

“Thank you, but it’s not something I like to talk about in detail.” (Yes, you’re allowed to say that!)

“I appreciate your concern, but I’d love to focus on rescheduling… my illness details are boring, girl.” (That’s a nice way to deflect with gratitude.)

“Now’s not a good time, but I’m happy to explain it more when we can meet in person.” (Only if you actually want to.)

“I’m not comfortable getting into the details right now — it’s personal. Thanks for understanding. (Another gratitude-filled way to deflect.)


And if they STILL are pushing for an explanation, after you use one of these responses? You may need to try the broken record technique by repeating yourself. It will feel weird, but it works.

And if they STILL are pushing? Politely end the conversation and step away. You don’t need that kind of busybody in your life.


You are not obligated to offer a detailed explanation for taking care of yourself.


Thanks for watching today! I would love to hear how you say NO to people. Share your strategy in the comments here—I want to hear what YOU have to say.

If you liked what you saw today, subscribe to our channel—and watch another one of my favorite videos right now.

Until we meet again, be AWAP! Smooches!