7 Polite Ways to Turn Somebody down ...

I don’t know about you, but I just hate when people put me in the position where I have to say "no." Some do in on purpose, expecting you won’t have the guts to do it, while others have no ulterior motives, which, of course, doesn’t make it any less problematic. Here, let me share some ideas on how to say no without having to feel guilty:

1. When You Have Been Asked on a Date

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Refusing to go out on a date with somebody can be rather tricky sometimes. Especially if that person is your boss or your coworker. Being rude, unpleasantly surprised, or just letting the icy "no" burst out of your mouth is definitely not a good idea. Act as if you didn’t understand the real nature of the proposal and say, "Oh, thanks, I would love to discuss the so-and-so strategy some more, but I’m afraid my boyfriend would see that differently." Voila, his ego is saved because if you think it’s not a date, he doesn’t feel rejected.

2. When a Friend Asks to Borrow Your Car/some Money

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Friends often come out with these questions and I honestly don’t mind sharing as long as they respect the deal and return everything as agreed. If a friend starts to abuse your trust, or you just don’t have much faith in her, simply refuse by saying, “Sorry, I do not loan money to anybody. It’s just this rule I have and you are a great friend so I know you will understand.”

3. When You Have Been Offered Food You Don’t Want

(Your reaction) Thank you!

You are on a diet, you’ve just ate, or the food a person is insisting on looks inedible – how to get out of that one without insulting the proud cook? Simply smile and say: Mmm, that smells and looks amazing, but my allergies are going crazy these days, I wouldn’t like to spoil the evening for everybody. But, I would love some more of that great wine!

4. When You Are Being Pushed to Take up an Assignment

(Your reaction) Thank you!

If your boss constantly keeps piling up new assignments because he/she knows you never say no, you have to let him/her know that you just can’t (or you are not paid enough to) handle that workload. Say, “Oh, that’s a very interesting assignment, but I’m currently busy with this and this. Would you like me to change my schedule?”

5. When You Have Been Invited to an Event You Don’t like

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Look thrilled and say "great," then frown like you’ve just remembered something terrible and add, "damn, I have that thing this week, there is no way I could re-schedule that. Well, you guys will just have to have fun without me!"

6. When a Salesperson is Trying to Get You to Buy Something

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Sweetie, it’s your money and you are the one that has to draw a line. Ok, we’ve all had those situations, but you have to agree that waiting for her shift to end just so you could return the object you were forced into buying, is tiring. Here’s a useful one that leaves no space for further discussion: It’s a bit out of my price range. Game over, you win!

7. When People Constantly Need You to do Something for Them

(Your reaction) Thank you!

Lear now to politely say “I’m sorry but I really cannot do it right now.” You are not the one responsible for solving everybody else’s problems; you have your own things you need to take care of. So, if they start with “Would you mind…” reply “Yes, I would…” You see, you didn’t say no but the context is completely different.

These things really helped me change my behavior, have more free time and stop feeling like I’m constantly being pressured to do something. How about you? Do you know how to say no to people?

Top Photo Credit: Horia Varlan

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