10 Ways To Say No and Still Be Kind

Lap Lap
5 min readNov 6, 2021
Photo by Jonah Brown on Unsplash

If you’ve ever struggled with declining a request, we want to help.

Recently, we found ourselves in an awkward situation where many of our friends wanted us to do things that we didn’t feel like doing.

It turns out that our friends went through the same thing and reached out for help on how they could say no — without feeling guilty or being rude.

We found this so helpful that we decided to reach back and come up with some more ways for you too say no — without being a jerk!

The 10 things on this list will help you decline a request kindly while still being polite.

They may not necessarily work in every circumstance, but they will get the job done most of the time.

1. Acknowledge the value of the person’s request.

At the beginning of every interaction with someone, say, “I know I have a lot on my plate at this time, but I would love to help you if I can.

What do you need?” This puts the onus on them to try and get what they want without feeling like they are imposing on you.

2. Don’t feel like you need to apologize for saying no.

If someone asks you to do something and you don’t want to do it, then just say no. Don’t qualify or defend your choice.

There is no need to apologize for exercising your right to say no. Your time and attention is valuable and you need not feel guilty about protecting it — especially when you are honoring your commitments and obligations.

3. Volunteer to help in a different way.

Sometimes what you are being asked to do is outside of your strength set, but it may be something you are willing to learn.

Say, “I think I can help with this but I am not sure yet. Can I get back with you on that?”

This will give you the space to decide if the request is one that you are willing to accept, rather than saying no outright.

It also gives you the freedom to say “yes” when the time comes. If someone really needs your help, they will wait for your response — they won’t leave…

Lap Lap

I am a writer for one reasons. It’s what I’m meant to do with my life: create worlds, characters who breathe and live off the page with me.