5 Tactful Ways to Say No

Though "No" is one of the simplest and shortest words, for some folks (the finger is pointed straight at me) it may be one of the hardest to say. There are many ways to say no, yet many reasons say it; to avoid the appearance of being rude, fearing conflict or being afraid of missed opportunities. But, learning ways to say no is the key to securing the time you need for yourself, family and friends. 

5 tactful ways to say no….

…when someone wants you to lend them money.
"I wish I could, but It's my policy to not lend money to friends or family."

…when a coworker wants help with a project.
"I'm in the middle of several important projects right now and I don't feel comfortable overextending myself."

….when a friend wants you to attend an engagement of some sort.
"Sounds tempting, but the date doesn't work with my calendar. Let me know how it goes."

…when you are asked to volunteer at your childrens school.
"I hope it doesn't disappoint you, but  I have several other commitments that are going to prevent me from volunteering this year."

…when the dinner party host tries forcing more food on your plate.
"everything was so delicious, but I don't have room for another bite. I would be happy to take leftovers home if they are available."

How many other tactful ways to say no can you think of?

2017-03-11T23:47:35+00:00 January 28th, 2011|Categories: Uncategorized|


  1. Jessica January 28, 2011 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    It took me a long time to say No.  I remember being up until 3am working on some project, essentially doing someone else's job and being so angry, but I had no one to blame but me!  I'm much better about saying No now.  I still feel guilty but I know I'm doing the right thing.

  2. Elle January 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    This is one of those important life skills that everyone needs to learn.  I used to have a hard time telling people no and I took on way more than I was capable of handling on my own.  Now that I'm able to pass on things, my life is so much less stressful.

  3. Miranda January 28, 2011 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    This is great. I love the one about food at a party. However, the problem I have with forcing people to take food home. Sometimes I'm just not interested in taking all sorts of food I'll never eat, but I haven't come up with a polite way to refuse. Any suggestions?

    • Annette Renee White January 29, 2011 at 8:17 am - Reply

      You could say, “I appreciated the gesture, but I have plans for the next several days that will prevent me from enjoying the leftovers.”

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