Ways to Say ďNoĒ (or Buy Time Until You Can)
Margot Silk Forrest
of A Short Course in Kindness
lot of us have difficulty saying ďNo.Ē This list, offered with
compassion and a little humor, will help you get comfortable with
turning people down, refusing to answer nosy or offensive
questions, asking people to stop doing something you donít like,
and telling others you disagree them.
you develop your ďNoĒ muscles, see if you can shift from
saying ďI canítĒ to forthrightly saying ďI wonít.Ē
Also try exchanging ďI donít want you toÖĒ for ďDonít.Ē
You will feel vastly more empowered -- and have more time for
self-kindness and kindness to others when you do.
Someone Asks You To Do Something For Them or With Them
enthusiastic (polite/helpful/etc.) part of me would like to say
yes, but the rest of me is overcommitted (more
don't know. I'll have to think that over.
wish I could help you out, but Iím overextended/ overcommitted
going to pass. I'm really trying to slow down my pace these days.
something Iíll have to think about.
don't have my calendar with me, but I can call and let you know
I'm already booked.
I can't make it after all. But it was nice of you to ask.
think it over.
but I'm way too tired.
that's not really my thing.
hold your breath!
have an appointment that day/night. (And you donít have to say
what it is!)
not for me, thanks.
that sounds interesting. Let me think about it and get back to
not sure if I'm free that day/night. Let me check and call you
but my schedule is too full right now.
part that wants to make you happy wants to say yes, but the rest
of me won the vote. I'll pass.
but I don't think I will.
not really something I enjoy.
doesn't work for me.
doesn't fit for me.
you want to have some fun saying no, try one of these:
in this lifetime!
Forget it! Dream on!
No way, Jose!
You must be
Not in a million years! Are you out of
Someone Does, Asks, or Says or Asks Something Invasive
not comfortable with that.
like to ask you not to _________________________________.
like you to stop __________________________________.
stop doing that. I donít like it.
uncomfortable right now with what you're saying/doing.
not something I talk about except with family.
talk about something else.
want to keep that to myself.
surprised you think you have a right to that information.
don't feel like talking about it.
you are asking me this becauseÖ ?? (Try saying this with a look
of utter disbelief.)
that's not something I talk about.
never answer questions like that.
Someone Says Something You Disagree With
see it differently than you do.
certainly don't agree about that.
have a different point of view.
experience of _______________________ is somewhat different.
hear what you are saying, but I donít agree with it.
Copyright © 2003 by Margot Silk Forrest