6 ways to say NO politely, firmly and without feeling guilty

Rejecting someone’s kind offer can sound impolite. But, you can learn how to say no politely with tips from an expert!
Woman saying no
It is important to learn how to say no politely. Image courtesy: Freepik
Purvi Kalra Published: 27 Mar 2024, 12:00 pm IST
  • 249

Have you found yourself at crossroads whenever you have to say “no” to anyone in the personal or professional space? Whether it is an invite for a Sunday brunch, a new task, a request for help or anything in general life, it is natural to find it hard to say no. To some, it may come across as being rude or unkind. Saying “no” can be worse for those who are people pleasers. So, they tend to agree to anything and everything.  Some days, it can be easy and manageable. But if saying no isn’t natural to you, this habit may eventually start taking a toll on your mental health. So, try your best to learn how to say no politely.

how to say no politely
Learning how to say no is crucial! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

How to say no politely to someone?

We never wish to hurt our loved ones or people we share a professional relationship with, by rejecting new opportunities or chances. However, we need to learn to say no politely on certain occasions. Here are some tips by psychiatrist Dr Sarthak Dave on how you can politely refuse someone with tips.

1. Acknowledge the offer first

Start by showing appreciation for the offer or invitation extended to you. It is always a civil and kind gesture to acknowledge the proposal extended to you by a close one. Instead of blatantly saying no to it, you can first give due regard to the other person for offering you the proposal. This can help curb the blow of rejection on the opposite person.

2. State your reasons for declining clearly

When we don’t like what has been offered or proposed, we tend to sugarcoat the conversation instead of declining it politely to avoid sounding blunt. We should always act wise and rationally by stating the real reasons for declining the offer. The best trick is to try and not be vague. “Confirm that your refusal comes from genuine reasons and not from any ill intentions,” says the expert.

3. Keep your tone polite

Saying no always doesn’t translate to being uncivil or impolite. While clearly explaining your reasons for saying no, you can maintain a tone of politeness in your conversation. That way, instead of feeling hurt, the person who extended the offer will come from a place of understanding with empathy to comprehend why you said no to the offer. “Use polite language and maintain a respectful tone throughout the conversation,” suggests the expert.

4. Express empathy for rejecting the offer

After appreciating someone’s kind gesture by proposing an offer, you can also say no politely by expressing your regret for not being able to fulfill their request. By doing so, you will try to convey that you would have fulfilled it if you were in a more favourable situation.

5. You may suggest alternative solutions

Saying no is not always about closing the doors to discussions. Suggest alternative solutions or ways to assist without fully committing to the initial request. You can reckon something that seems more feasible or doable for you to make up for the rejection of the initial offer.

6. End the conversation on a positive note

Make it a point to put an end to the conversation on a positive note to maintain goodwill. You can say that even though you couldn’t oblige the other person by fulfilling the offer, you will make up for it by accepting something else in future.

You must not ruin your relationship with the other person by rudely rejecting the proposal, and you can instead keep things polite and civil to keep your relations cordial.

Select Topics of your interest and let us customize your feed.

  • 249
About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

Next Story