Say NO Guide: Polite Ways of Saying No – How to Politely Say No?

No is a small word to give as an answer to someone’s question, help or request. It is not easy to say it, in a perfect way. But sometimes you need to say it so try to be polite while saying No or turning down someone’s date invitation.

In some situations like a job or in personal relationships you may need to say no. For example if a co-worker asks you for help in work that is not yours and you don’t have extra time for it, in such a situation negation is not so simple. A direct negation can hurt the feelings of that person and may spoil your relationship too.

Saying No while making face to face interaction is difficult but what about writing messages or emails? Here on email, the judgment of expression is difficult. So follow these useful 5 ways to say No in a polite manner:

#1 Cushion Saying No with kindness or a compliment.

Additional words of respect are helpful while saying No like “I like to meet you but no”. This is the best expression to reject a meeting without hurting someone.

    • That sounds like a wonderful chance, but I have to make it through. Thank you for taking me into consideration!
    • The idea is interesting, and I’m pleased you’ve brought it up, but it doesn’t suit us well.

#2 Explain the reasons.

Saying No without any reason shows your disrespect and carelessness. Everyone wants some reason if you say No to the person. So you should explain your reasons briefly such as the examples below:

    • I cannot meet you because I am busy right now and I have given a strict deadline for my work.
    • It is a great idea but unfortunately, right now our company has no money for this sort of initiative.
    • A journey to Oakland seems extremely pleasant, thank you! Unfortunately, I’m not going to have the opportunity this summer due to a shortage of time.

While you should learn what to say at what point because the selection of words is necessary for long term relationships.

#3 Speak short but good words.

Well, always providing reasons is not necessary. You should give reasons when it is required, otherwise be direct and brief. But straight forward replies should also be respectful. 

So here are some comparisons which will help you to understand how to say No in a short but good way.

Wrong-way: I cannot do it for you.

The right way: Unfortunately, I am ashamed I cannot assist.

The example shows that words like, unfortunately, express your politeness and generous feelings as compared to going direct.

More suitable: Thank you for considering me for this function. For now, I can’t process further jobs but kindly stay in touch.

This example represents that you are not free now but you might be helpful in the future. So these sentences are helpful to keep maintaining your relationship.

#4 Delay instead of negating.

While in some situations the words like ‘not now’ or ‘not right now’ are also not suitable.

    • Your argument on reassessing and streamlining our operation is well taken. Why aren’t we getting our heads together on this until the recruiting process is over?
    • Thanks — I would love to be speaking in your case, but this year’s scheduling is not really perfect. Will you please remind me of the Summit next year?

Delaying rather than neglecting seems polite. Totally saying no is not suitable in every situation especially if you are being asked for a lengthy task.

#5 Provide another solution.

Sometimes you are not able to help but you do not want to let the person go. So suggesting something else is a good option to help the other person somehow. You should talk about other options that may be good in that situation.

    • I can’t allow the president access until your deadline for an appointment, so I’m glad to bring you in contact with our staff leader. If that’s beneficial to your narrative, he will provide information on our strategy.
    • For now, meeting for coffee and job guidance isn’t feasible for me, but my friend Jamie is involved in working on more of a volunteering position and might have some ideas you’ll consider worthwhile. May I please show you?
    • Next week I won’t take up the weekend change for you, so if you require a day to rest afterward I will work for you Tuesday.

Rejecting offers, negating for help, canceling plans and meetings, all of these are the part of life. These are the necessary actions you have to take whether you do not want it to. Every time you also do not need to provide some alternates while saying no. It all depends on different situations. You should understand the situation and you should have an understanding of the nature of the other person.

What if the recipient is my closest friend and I know he will not mind?

Well it’s about the type of friendship you have. You know your friend better than anyone but direct no is against the ethic. You should behave positively.

Is ignoring someone rather than saying No is a good method?

No, obviously not you should answer the question. Ignoring someone can cause much damage to your relationships.

May i provide reasons for Saying No?

Every time it’s not important. It depends on the time and reaction. If you have much time to express then do it or if the other asks then also you should do it.

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The articles, cosmetic tutorials, and beauty tips on SheBegan magazine are contributed by experienced fashion professionals, beauty & cosmetics experts. The team of our beauty and cosmetics professionals tests the products and then share the outcomes with proper citations and then after passing all the research & editorial checks; the content is sent live making sure there exists No Conflict of Interest. You can read about our authors, volunteers, team members and editorial board with our content review, product testing, tutorial guidance process here.

Zahira Bano

Zahira holds a Ph.D. in Cosmetics Surgery and Pharma. She worked with Mashable's and some other beauty, skincare, and wellness blogs. She is also a well-known researcher from Nanjing University of Science & Technology. She also writes on the female empowerment motivational topics in her leisure time.

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