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Tips For Saying No Effectively

Are you a people pleaser? Do you constantly say YES? Do you take on too many tasks and projects? Why do people have a hard time saying NO? Saying no may seem like you are rejecting someone, you don’t care or you are letting someone down.

Whether it’s a date, a meeting, project, volunteering, or giving money, you WANT to say ‘NO’ but you end up saying yes.

If ‘NO’ feels and sounds harsh, here are some tips:

Let them know you wish you could say yes.

  • I would have love to… BUT…

  • Thanks for thinking of me, but I won’t be able to …

  • Sounds great, but I’m not able to commit

  • I’d love to, but can’t help you out right now

  • I appreciate your asking me for help, but I don’t have enough time to effectively help out

  • Thanks for thinking of me, but I’m not able to help out right now

You can offer a consolation or alternative.

  • No, I can’t do that, but here’s what I can do

  • I can’t help you out with that, but I can ….

  • I’d love to, but can’t help you out right now. Check with me next time.

  • I'm sorry I can't right now but will let you know when and if I can

Helpful Phrases for Saying “NO”:

  • No thanks. I have another commitment.

  • I don’t have time in my schedule right now.

  • I can’t give you an answer right now, will you check back with me?

  • I’m going to say no for now. I’ll let you know if something changes.

  • I’m honored that you would ask me, but my answer is no.

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