Disapproval in most cases is difficult for the receiver to take in; however, the most polite way to say no is milder than saying a cold “yes”.

I’ve had my fair share of spilling a blunt “no” without looking back. Fast forward to a few years back when I had told a girl who came to visit my colleague a quick “no” when she asked me to buy her a sausage.

We hadn’t met before so I wondered why she would run into me in such a way, so my answer was straight “no, I don’t know you”.

If it were you, wouldn’t you have swum into the ground?

Ways you can say a polite no

Over the years, with the need to build a better relationship, I’ve learned that it only takes a few strategies to say no politely.

First, a polite no comes with preparedness from a decisive mind. This will help you make decisions fast and at the same time help the second party to understand better your grounds for saying no.

If you’re not convinced enough about your “no”, it might as well be perceived to be shaky in the eyes of the receiver which might make him or her feel you are not sincere enough.

You have to do it in a way that you don’t look back, or your “yes” is your yes.

One thing about people that give themselves good reasons to say no is that their excuses are always dependable.

You wouldn’t believe them any less because their “no” statement is often reliable.

I went into a relationship with my ex-girlfriend because I couldn’t say no when she asked me to date her. I wasn’t prepared to tell her that I couldn’t even though I had my reasons. Well, it ended up as a very short affair that only lasted for 8 days. And she wouldn’t believe me more…

Thumbs up to not being able to say no at the right time!

In order to say a firm no, you can take a lead from the example below:

Thank you for asking, but that isn’t going to be favorable.

Secondly, as much as you would need to tell yourself why a no is more convenient for you, giving the receiver that benefit of the doubt is a cushioning effect.

Wouldn’t it had been better if I had given the girl that wanted a sausage a more embellished reason like, I’m sorry, I can’t spare some money now?

Relative examples you can look up are as follows:

This is one of the most decent and gentlemanly ways people respond to well-mannered approaches.

I can’t go to the café with you – you know it’s a weekday, so I would be busy at the office.


This is a wonderful proposal; however, we would like to keep it down till summer because it’s currently not in our budget.

A good alternative helped me view disapproval from my academic sponsor as a piece of advice, and this is the third step to saying a well-formed “no”.

He never wanted to pay an agency for my scholarship application because he was not sure how feasible it was, so instead of saying no, he asked me to wait until he gets proof that the agency was legit.

I felt disappointed because I was sure about them, but wouldn’t have been more disappointed if he had bluntly said that he was not ready to pay without a good reason to wait until he was ready.

One of the few cues you may take to give a better alternative includes;

Being with you this weekend is what I’ve always wanted, unfortunately, I’m very busy, but we can go surfing next weekend.

I can’t spare that amount now, but you can take this, and don’t payback.

Another way someone could actually say no is by using a soothing word. I know a guy who has given several girls who don’t have a problem asking him to date them a peppered heart.

Once he doesn’t like you, He will be like, “no, get off!”

On the other hand, my formal crush was a little bit different. She would reciprocate your feelings, and at the same time help you understand why not being in a relationship with you will make things better.

Often she would use more lovely words rather than giving martial art answers.

Using mild words would help them identify with your “no”. For instance, saying;

I love you too. Going down into this, wouldn’t it be better if we remain friends? Seems more polite than saying, no, I can’t date you!

More cushioning phrases you can add to say no are;

I’m sorry…, thank you, but…, you’re lovely, well…, it would be amazing…, and so on.

Finally, saying no with tomorrow in view helps a lot. This type of “no” comes with hope but not a certainty. It encourages the person with the request towards a continuous trial. It helps the individual see light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s always difficult for Vincent to say no to his girlfriend even though they barely see each other due to work, so each time she asks for some time with him and he can’t, he will go…

“Babe, I would love to have you in my arms throughout the night, but wouldn’t it better we give it more time so that we can secure a whole weekend for ourselves by next month?”

That’s tricky, right? But it was a better way to saying no, rather than just saying, “No! We can’t see till it’s next month”. If he ever did that, she would be asking for a break-up.

To wrap this all up, saying no is quite difficult, especially in a world where people would want to cross boundaries without exception. Essentially, to avoid being pushed against the wall, you have to say it. Above all, necessities should be considered to do this in a well mannered and diplomatic way to avoid making people feel dampened and disappointed.