Polite Ways To Turn Someone Down

Saying “no” can be difficult – even if it’s the right thing to do. WorkingMother.com contributor Renee Peterson Trudeau offers these eight ways to do the deed.

  1. Try Just no. “Thanks, I’ll have to pass on that.” Then say nothing more.
  2. The Gracious No.  “I really appreciate you asking, but I’m already committed.”
  3. The I’m sorry, no. “I wish I could, but that’s not going to work right now.”
  4. The It’s someone else’s decision no.  “I promised my coach I wouldn’t take on any more projects.”
  5. Also try the My family is the reason No. “Thanks for the invite, but my son has a soccer game and I never miss those.”
  6. The I know someone else no. “I can’t right now, but I can recommend someone who might.”
  7. The setting boundaries no: “Let me tell you what I can do,” and then limit the commitment to what is comfortable for you.
  8. Finally, the Not no, but not yes.  “Let me think about it and get back to you.”