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What's the best and politest way to say "no" to something?

20 Answers
Last Updated: 12/24/2018 at 4:49pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Maria Wasielewski, Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance, University of Arizona

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am inspired when working with clients, who are facing challenging life experiences, to be able to help them to develop the needed skills to live their best possible life!

Top Rated Answers
December 13th, 2014 9:18am
when you are telling "no" it has to be promptly and still polite. If you want to refuse something , for exemple something that someone wants you to do , you can use " I am sorry / i regret but i can't do that / i can't go there." or " i think it's best if I don't do that / go there " or " I am afraid that I have to refuse you , i am sorry"
December 13th, 2014 7:27am
This depends on the question, but if it's a request for you to "do" something you don't want to do... Then maybe look at your reason why, and be honest.
December 13th, 2014 1:50am
I generally prefer the straight-forward approach, however, it's always important to anticipate the reaction and feelings of the person you are saying "no" to. If it's someone you know well, it's usually a lot easier to reply with a simple "no." If it's someone you don't know very well, or who may view a "no" as rejection, the best approach is to phrase your refusal as kindly as possible. For example, if you are being invited to a party which you would rather not attend, instead of saying something like "I really don't enjoy parties so I won't be able to attend" you might say "Thank you for the invitation, that's so kind of you to think of me and invite me to your party. It sounds like it will be a great deal of fun. Unfortunately, I have made other plans for that evening." It's always best to reply with kindness in every situation because when you do that you increase the odds that you will be treated with kindness in return.
May 30th, 2015 5:31am
Sometimes people try to make excuse, sometimes people will also try to delay giving the answer, or not replying at all. But to say no you need practice. It's not easy sometime, but it's necessary. Just think about this: you seem to be respectful to other people by asking how to say no in the best and politest way. I wonder how do you respect yourself by enabling yourself to say what you truly wanna say?
June 18th, 2015 3:03am
In my personal opinion the best way to say "no" to something would be "Thank you, but I have to politely decline your offer."
May 17th, 2015 3:54am
I'm really sorry, I just don't know if that is something I can handle right now. Things are a bit crazy right now, but when things slow down in my life, I'd love to be able to help you out with something!
May 10th, 2016 4:35pm
Sometimes the best and the most polite are different! The best way is to say "No". That's it, no explanation, no justification, no apology. You can say it in a nice tone of voice of course. (Don't smile too much, it might undermine your words.) The politest way could be to say, "Hmmm, I need to check my diary, can I get back to you?". If they say they need to know straightaway, you can respond with "I'd better just say no then". Later on, you can decide whether to get back to them or not, and how to get back to them: an SMS/text message might feel easier than to say it in-person. If a person pressurises me to say yes, I believe they may not have my best interests at heart. That reminds me that I don't have to do what they want, and that my needs are just as important as theirs. A firm and polite method is to say "No, but thank you for asking".
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April 11th, 2016 9:54am
Apologize and state that you can't with a reason. Tell the person that you are really sorry but u can't.
December 14th, 2014 2:48am
The best way to politely say "no" is to just say "no thank you". It is simple and effective, getting the point across but doing so politely.
March 21st, 2017 6:00pm
If you want to say no to something politely, the best way to do this is to be straight up and honest, try not to make up false excuses and try to explain the reasons why honestly, this will make it more understandable
December 13th, 2014 6:36pm
Saying no is not always easy. I usually try to express to the person why Im saying no in a gentle and tactful way. If I find it hard to explain myself I use a back up excuse..."I really appreciate you inviting me but my mom is having a special dinner that day/night and I promised I'd go" "I have a lot of things going on right noe, I don't want to take more reponsabilities tban I can handle and end up not being able to keep up. " Basically when saying know take responsability for your desicion and present it in a way that is not helpful to the other person.
January 2nd, 2015 8:48pm
I think the best way to say "no" to something it so assert yourself and honestly explain why you are saying no. Don't lie, or try and say sorry for making that decision , instead stand by your decision and don't feel guilty for doing it.
December 15th, 2014 1:57am
The politest way to say "no" is to simply say you will have to pass and it is not something you want/want to do.
July 27th, 2015 3:34am
Take a deep breath and look at the person you are going to refuse. Put yourself in their shoes, while remaining grounded in your own body. Finally, don't forget to breathe as you finally say no
December 24th, 2018 4:49pm
There are many ways. You can say "no thank you" or "I'll pass". Just remember that you aren't forced to say yes to anything. You have the right to say no to things, so don't think that you are being mean or rude by saying no. If you say no, it simply means no, and whoever you are saying no to should be able to understand that. If they don't, try explaining to them why you need to say no. If you are asking for just simple easy ways to say no, you could also say, "I can't do that at the moment" or "I don't think so."
May 21st, 2015 10:57pm
First, acknowledge that you realise the request is very important to them and thank them for asking you. Then say that it's a no - with or without explanation, that's up to you - and wish them the best of success.
May 2nd, 2016 8:27pm
Say "I am sorry" while nodding your head with a smile. It generally will communicate the message, but in a pleasant manner.
December 13th, 2014 12:39am
I always thank the person for thinking of me or giving me the opportunity, and explain as firmly and honestly as possible (without giving unnecessary detail or being offensive) why I can't agree. Personally, I try not to use the word "but," since that may flag my response as negative and an excuse. It's hard, though. If I can, I take a minute to think and give them some helpful information that might make it easier for them to communicate with me in the future or to get yeses from other people. Sometimes extending a helpful 'no' response can keep the mood light or even make it less likely the other person tries to negotiate you into helping further. Of course, I don't owe someone more than a 'no thanks' simply because they reached out to me, however I will push the conversation forward with an idea, more information or other helpfulness if I can!
January 8th, 2015 7:03am
I understand that you want me to say "yes" but, I think that "no" means to not to convince me at all
July 13th, 2015 12:46pm
Sorry, but I don't feel like it. Maybe you should ask someone else? Say it nicely, but with a voice that says that you mean it.