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How to say No

Average: 3.4 (16 votes)

I came across this 'Saying No' article on Zen Habits and thought I'd share it with you. It can be difficult to refuse people without being rude and it's even harder when you don't have the English ability to do it. Refusing with a simple 'no' can make you seem impolite; it's better to be less direct if you don't want to hurt anyone.

1. "I can’t commit to this as I have other priorities at the moment."
Use this when you are too busy to help someone with something. It's useful when refusing to help with big projects that will take up a lot of your time.

2. "Now's not a good time as I’m in the middle of something. How about we reconnect at X time?"
Use this phrase when you are busy with something. It shows you are busy at the moment, but will be able to help when you have more time.

3. "I'd love to do this, but..."
A nice, polite and gentle way of saying no.

4. "Let me think about it first and I’ll get back to you."
This is used like "maybe" when you don't want to say "yes" or "no". This gives you time to think about it and prepares the asker for a negative response.

5. "This doesn’t meet my needs now but I’ll be sure to keep you in mind."
Good phrase to use when someone is trying to sell you something or offer you a service. Nice to know for business English situations.

6. "I’m not the best person to help on this. Why don’t you try X?"
Useful when you feel that you don't have the necessary skills/knowledge/ability to help.

7. "No, I can’t."
Sometimes you just have to be strong and say no! This might be the hardest thing to learn!

Do you find it hard to say no to people? Do you sometimes say yes when you mean no?

Link: How to be firm