It’s OK to Say No

Photo by cottonbro studio on

Learning to say no can be challenging, but I respect when people admit they are just too busy or don’t feel like they can do something at this particular time in their life. I especially appreciate when people do not ignore your request, but actually get back to you by taking two minutes to say NO in an email or in person. When we take control over our own lives, set boundaries and say no, we feel better about who we are and stay true to our core values.

The next time someone asks you to do something don’t feel guilty, just respond with one of these choices :

  1. I’m honoured that you asked, but I can’t commit at this time.
  2. Thanks for reaching out and for the kind invitation, I appreciate the opportunity, but unfortunately, I am unable to at this time.
  3. Thank you for thinking of me, I’m afraid I’ll have to decline.
  4. That sounds so interesting, but I have to pass this time.
  5. I wish I could, but I have other commitments that I need to attend to.
  6. Thanks for the invitation, but it’s not possible for me right now.
  7. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to participate, but I appreciate the offer.
  8. I’m sorry, but I have to say no as I am overcommitted.
  9. Thank you for thinking of me, but I’m unable to accept this time.
  10. I’m sorry, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it.
  11. Thanks for considering me, but I’ll have to decline this time.
  12. I appreciate you thinking of me , but regretfully have to decline your offer. All the best.
  13. I appreciate the opportunity, but I won’t be able to take it on at this time.
  14. Grateful that you asked me, but unfortunately, I can’t at this time as I am over-committed.
  15. Appreciate the invitation, but I’m unable to at this time.
  16. With regret, I am unable to accept this intriguing invitation. My regards.
  17. At this time I am not adding anything to my work/tasks/projects as my family is the top priority.
  18. I appreciate your interest, but I can’t commit at this moment.
  19. Unfortunately, I have to say no, but thank you for reaching out.
  20. Thanks for thinking of me. I am swamped at the moment, so unfortunately I cannot commit.

I asked two people to do something in the past month and both said no. Although I would have preferred it if they said yes, I so appreciated their response and let them know that I respected their NO. Putting your own needs first is not selfish, people would rather hear a no and you be true to what you value. Being honest and upfront matters. So go ahead and say no and truly mean it. It’s OK.