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How to say ‘no’ gracefully

When you say ‘yes’ to something, you are essentially saying ‘no’ to something else. You offer to help a friend, you are saying no to alone or family time.

Sometimes you really ought to decline the request. Some ways to say ‘no’:

– “That’s a responsibility that is too much for me to take on right now.”
– “You can do it as well as I can.”
– “I can show/tell you how to do it.”
– “The timing is terrible. I wish I could, it just is not possible.”
– “I don’t lend that out. It’s my policy.”
– “I would like to help, but I am on overload myself.”
– “I’m maxed out”
– “I am flattered that you asked me, but I am going to have to decline this time.”
– “Thank you for asking, but that isn’t going to work out for me.”
– “I really appreciate you asking me, but my time is already committed.”
– “Thanks, I’ll have to pass on that.”
– “I have other things that need my attention.”
– “It wouldn’t be right for me.”
– “With my schedule, I’d be unreliable, and I won’t let myself be that.”
– “My family would be disappointed in me if I took on another obligation.”
– “I can’t do that, but I can offer to do …”
– “Let me tell you what I can do…”
– “This doesn’t fit with my schedule at this time.”
– “Thanks for coming to me but I’m afraid it’s not convenient right now.”

You may want to use the four-part formula for saying no:
1. Start with a compliment if one fits the situation.
2. Give your answer.
3. Say thank you.
4. Encourage the person.
“That sounds like a worthwhile project. I am so glad that someone is addressing that need. I’m flattered that you thought of me for this project. At this time, I can’t take on any more commitments. I know you’ll pull together a great group.”

J.O.T. [Just One Thing]

Through the years, many clients and students have reached out for guidance and support. They came seeking encouragement and assistance with relationship challenges. They asked tough questions. They explored their role in the relationship. They enhanced their communication and conflict resolution skills.  They adopted productive mindsets that helped them enrich their marriage, family life and so many other aspects of their lives.

Adai Ad’s (JOT) Just One Thing series was developed to share short and practical relationship insights, tools and mindsets every morning (via whatsapp and social media). These are widely received all over the world.

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