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20 Ways To Say No

September 20th, 2019 Published by Geoff Watts

How easy do you find it to say “no”?

If you, like many others, often find yourself doing a task you didn’t want to do, or didn’t really have the time to do well, your people pleasing trait may be out of balance. I’ve put together a list of 20 sentences you can use instead of (half-heartedly) saying “yes”.

I hope you find them useful and feel free to tweet me if you use any this week.

1. I can definitely get back to you on that one by the end of the week/month.

2. I could only do that if you could make [this other, bigger task] disappear for me!

3. I don’t have the capacity to do that to the standard you deserve.

4. I know the perfect person who would be better suited to that.

5. If you ask me again in a week/month’s time I might be able to help.

6. You know I’m always happy to help you whenever I can but this just isn’t one of those situations…sorry.

7. I actually would really like to do that and I could do it next month.

8. I can’t do that myself but I will reach out to my network for you and see who else might be available.

9. That sounds like more than I can handle right now but here’s what I could do…

10. I like you too much/have too much respect for you to try and help you when I know I wouldn’t be able to do it properly with all the other commitments I have right now.

11. I promised my therapist that I wouldn’t take on any more work right now!

12. There’s no way I could do as good a job as you on this so what would it take for you to be able to do it yourself?

13. I have a very clear rule about situations like this; it’s not just you. [I never lend more than £20 to friends]

14. I’m afraid I can’t do that because I’m gluten/lactose/jerk intolerant 🙂

15. You know I’m a people-pleaser so you will appreciate how hard it is for me to say no but I really must.

16. I can’t do exactly what you want there but I could do it if [I had twice as long/the scope was reduced/…]

17. If asking for my help was illegal, what other options would you have?

18. That actually sounds much more fun that what I’m currently doing but I promised myself that I won’t be someone who breaks their commitments.

19. I would need a day to look at my commitments and schedule before I could commit to that. I will get back to you in 24 hours to tell you if it’s possible.

20. Let me ask [senior person] if they are happy for me to drop what I’m doing to do this instead.

September 20th, 2019 Published by

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