Ten Ways to Say No

Saying no without guilt is mostly in learning the delivery. You want to convey appreciation for having been thought of, that you would say yes if it weren’t for some pesky detail in your life … So, with a slight smile, practice saying the following:

  • I would help you if I could, but I’m just not able to manage it right now.
  • That’s a wonderful idea. My schedule doesn’t allow for anything extra right now but could I call you if some time opens up?
  • I am practicing saying no to projects right now because I have a tendency to overcommit myself.
  • I need 24 hours to think about it. I’ll call (email, text) you in that window of time to let you know.
  • I don’t think I am the right person for that. Would it help if I gave some thought to who might be and got back to you?
  • I’m sorry, I am completely booked right now and am committed to keeping any free time for my family time/self-care.
  • I am flattered that you asked, however, now is not a good time to take something like that on. Would you be willing to ask me another time?
  • I have to be honest, using my time for that right now doesn’t fit for me. I’ve made a commitment to myself to only spend time on areas that feel necessary. I’m sure you have conflicts like this, too, don’t you?
  • You are so right, we do need to get together, but Saturday will not work. Can I contact you when I see where we have some free time?
  • I appreciate your interest, but I don’t feel the same way you do, so I have to say no.

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