Declining offers and requests (also known as saying no) leads to establishing boundaries. It also sets clarity on people’s expectations towards you.
Tip #1: Express it directly
- Sorry, I’ll have to pass
- I’ll have to pass
- Pass (close friend)
Your response depends on the personality and your relationship with the person who requested something from you.
Jenny: Do you want to join us on Saturday?
Ben: Sorry, I’ll have to pass.
Tip #2 You can also decline nicely and mention the reason. You may also follow this pattern: I’d love to, but+reason
Mary: Do you want to join us on Saturday?
Katie: I’d love to, but I’ll be doing something with my sister.
Tip #3 When somebody asks something from you, but the set-up is not favorable. Use this pattern.
- Thank you for asking, but that isn’t going to work out for me.
- Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I can’t!
Team Leader: Would you like to work on a graveyard shift?
Jill(Senior Agent): “Thank you for asking, but that isn’t going to work out for me.”
Tip #4 Politely decline an invitation by being gracious and telling them that you are tied.
- I appreciate you for asking me, but my time is already committed.
Jane: Let’s go to the movie screening of XMEN this weekend.
Rina: I appreciate you for asking me, but my time is already committed.
Tip #5 Let them know that the timing is not right
Ginny: Do you want to talk about your problem?
Serena: Unfortunately, now is not a good time. I will open up when I’m ready.