How to Say No

  1. Kindly and firmly decline. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is that “no” is a complete sentence, so don’t feel like you have to sugarcoat it. The wordiest you need to get is: “I’m going to have to pass, but thank you for asking.” Done. It’s gonna feel uncomfortable at first, but remind yourself that it’s healthy (for yourself and your relationships) to get people in the habit of respecting your choices.

  2. Practice saying no like this until it doesn’t feel weird anymore.
  3. Optional: Start with a friendly “Thank you for offering this opportunity, but…,” followed by a brief explanation of why you’re turning down the opportunity.

When someone asks you for something you don’t want to give them, the most important thing is to look them in the eye and just tell them you can’t do it. If they persist, persist right back! Sometimes you just don’t have time to (or don’t want to) do something, and that’s totally OK. ♦