how to Say No Politely: 51+ Ways to Say No

Saying a no gets really important at times. We tend to quickly agree with others and give in requests that others make no matter how busy we are.

Even if we have a list of work waiting already, we readily take on their responsibility on our shoulders. It is time to stop that and help ourselves by saying a ‘no’ when we don’t want to. Use the following tips to get habituated.

list of Tips to Say No Politely

Mention that maybe not this time, you will go some other day”- If you are not willing to go out or want to avoid the person for some reason, you may come out like this.

Politely say that it sounds great, but it might be better if we could add something – It is not mandatory that you have to like others’ ideas always. You must speak out your views as well.

Ask them to give you some time to think over their proposal – Take time if you need to decide on some points vital for you. You don’t need to hurry and agree with them.

Start on a note of thanking the person- Thank the person for choosing you for the work, thank them because they trust you, and eventually mention it will not be possible for you to help him. 

Professionally ask for some more time to carry out their work- If you are interested in the work but preoccupied. Try asking for an extension.

Taking decisions must be slow, so ask them to spend time on it before asking you to agree- If you are unable to agree to their proposal and want them to reconsider it, you may approach it in this way. 

You can always own up the genuine reason behind not agreeing with them- If your reasons are logical and hold a strong base, tell them what is it that is stopping you from saying a yes. 

You can tell them that you won’t be able to do it today but indeed make it by the next- When you know you won’t be able to start the work, do not commit.

Tell them honestly that you are sorry and you can’t do it- When you have no interest in the plan or their proposal, honestly confess that you don’t want to be a part of it.

If it is something you are really interested in reconsidering, give them another schedule- Commit to them that you will pay full attention once you are done with your previous commitments.

Avoid giving false hopes- Never give false hopes when you are not willing to participate. The bitter truth is always better.

Try offering an alternative proposal or solution- If you have some other ideas in your mind or any other suggestion that would make the output better, try sharing it instead of directly saying a no.

You may apologize and explain why you are saying a no- If the person is quite close to you and tend to understand your impulse, you can try explaining the reason behind your choice.

Don’t run away from the question- When you are asked something, the worst thing you can do is avoiding it. It is always better to confront.

Be open to feedbacks and calmly state your viewpoints- In order to be in the position to say a no, you should be approachable and open to what others have to say.

Sometimes simply say it- At times, you can straightaway say a no; few situations demand that too.

You can put your statement with assertion- Instead of indirectly saying a no every time, you must try putting it as a statement and stick to it.

Try understanding what tactics will work for the person- Different things work for different people; it is always better to observe, analyze and find out which approach will suit better.

Set strict boundaries for yourself- It is crucial that you know where you must stop. Set boundaries for yourself be it related to time or people.

You can also try asking back the person what he would do in your place- This is a very clever technique to push the ball in their court, wait and see what they reply, and respond accordingly.

You got to be firm with your words- Make your mind that no matter how much you are requested, you won’t be giving in. Stick to your ‘no’ and not get carried away.

At times you got to be selfish- Choosing yourself is needful. You don’t do this every time, so giving yourself a priority is vital once in a while.

Cushion your words with a lot of kindness and compliments- Complimenting is the way to reach someone’s heart. Be kind and generous with your words. 

You don’t need to give an explanation always- You are not bound to explain your actions to everybody. You need to understand it is your life and you can have your choices.

Keep the statement open-ended- This is another clever way of tackling the situation. You don’t always have to mention a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’; let the opposite person understand from your expression. 

Don’t be afraid of being judged or disliked- You need outbrave. If you are judged or disliked because you said a ‘no,’ be sure that your choice or comfort hardly matters to them.

You must know your value and understand when being used- There are some who only talk to you so that they can get their work done. You must try and understand who is genuine and who is not. 

Saying a no won’t make you a bad person- It is completely unnecessary to think that the moment you say a ‘no’ you will turn into an evil person. You are what you are.

You got to question yourself at times that all the pains you are taking worth it- More than being able to say a no, it is vital to see who the person is and how much you mean to them.

You can start with practicing saying a no in front of the mirror- Practicing in front of the mirror always works. Be it for an interview or refusing someone politely, you can always check how it sounds.

Instead of prolonging, it always better to end in brief- Do not nag with your answer trying to give a thousand excuses and explanations; try cutting it short. It is far easier that way.

Never blame yourself for saying a no- This is the last thing you should do. Remember by saying a no you are not harming anyone but saving yourself. 

Remember being able to speak your mind is freedom- You must be free in yourself. Be who you are instead of letting others rule your speech and action.  

Don’t feel resentful- It may so happen that the person you refuse to react angrily. Don’t feel hurt or resentful in such a case, give them time; they shall understand. 

Collect your courage and take the challenge once- Saying a no for the first time would need more courage than any other time. Give in the effort once, it will become easier after that.

Be clear in your mind with your decisions- Be sure of what you want. You should not be making decisions based on influences. Know why you are choosing what you are.

Try analyzing the implications of saying a yes when you don’t want to- Sit for a moment and think of the consequences your ‘yes’ can bring. It will help you buckle up the courage you need to say a no.

Accept the fact that saying “no” is absolutely fine- You are not the only one who is wanting to say a no, people do say a no and it is okay if that is what makes you happy and brings peace. 

Use the texting medium if you are to say a no on the face- Technology has made your work easier, when you find it difficult to confront, simply drop a text mentioning that you are sorry that you can’t be of any help.

Be respectful towards the person- It is vital that you show respect while you speak. Disagreements or while expressing differing views, respect is of utmost importance.

Sometimes you have to be less friendly and a bit diplomatic- We often portray ourselves as over-friendly and accessible making it easier for others to approach us for every little thing. We must know where we should draw the line.

You can always opt for delaying your response- Delaying a response will provide you with the necessary time required for growing confident to say a no.

Though this is a bit rude, you can sometimes choose not to reply at all- If you find it very difficult to come out even after practicing or making yourself understand, choose to keep quiet. 

You can add in humor saying you wish you had an existing copy of yourself – Adding humor to a sentence makes it sound lighter no matter how deep it actually is. Covering your no with humor is a great tactic. 

Clearly tell them that you are occupied with something- When you have pre-commitments pending, clarify to them that this is why you can’t follow them up.

You can mention that the work they are asking for doesn’t fit in your choices- You might be asked to do something which you never would. It is crucial that you raise your opinion in such a situation instead of accepting peer pressure. 

Slowly shift your default answer to no until necessary- So long you have been in the habit of saying ‘yes’ no matter what, it is time that you change your answer to ‘no’.

Give yourself some time – Spending time with yourself will help you realize what your inner self wants, what typically satisfies or soothes your mind. Understand yourself and then respond accordingly. 

Understand that turning down a request once does not imply you are turning down the person- Many a time, we end up thinking that refusing would imply rejecting the person. They are totally two different things. You can support the person throughout without agreeing to a particular issue.

Spontaneous reply can save you a big deal- When we take more time, it basically complicates the situation, and instant ‘no’ will save you from great mind hacks.

State your family as a reason- Using family as a protective cushion for an excuse is widely practiced. It can make your work a thousand times easier.

Tell them to ask you again later- If there are chances of you changing your mind later, or you are unable to think at this moment for some other reason, ask them to approach you later instead of saying yes half-ear.

Take them out on a lunch or dinner- When you are in an awkward situation and not in a position to explain, it is better to plan out differently. Take them for a nice treat and slowly lay down your points along with the food.

Never revisit the conversation in your mind- This is again the last thing you do. If you have successfully said a no, you have done wonderfully. Do not process it in your mind again to find if you wrong, it simply kills your mental peace.

Hopefully, these tips will be of little help. Start with saying ‘no’ to at least one person in a week, you will slowly get into the habit of it when needed. Accepting or agreeing to anything just for the sake of others is never right. Doing only favors will take you nowhere. Only be a part of those things that will make you happy and will keep you with no regrets.

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