30 Different Ways To Say “No” Without Sounding Rude


One of the things most people struggle with is saying “no”, mostly because we don’t want to offend people or even displease them — we are constantly on a quest to gain approval and move forward in life, and saying no means we might piss off a few people.

A lot of us have a hard time turning down people even when we know that is the right thing to do and end up sabotaging our own lives and health to do what others ask of us, simply we couldn’t say no. Learning how to say no is vital — did you know there are lots of different ways to do it. We thought we’d pick out the best for you to use in different situations, so you always come across as polite, and you never have to blatantly say “no” to anyone!

Saying no for no reason at all

  1. I’d rather not.
  2. Unfortunately I can’t.
  3. I really shouldn’t.
  4. No thanks, I won’t be able to make it.
  5. I wish I were able to.
  6. I’d love to — but can’t.
  7. Unfortunately, not this time.
  8. Rain check on that?
  9. If only I could!
  10. I wish I could make it work.

Saying no when you don’t have the time

  1. I would love to, but I’m swamped!
  2. I’m a little busy with work, can I get back to you on this?
  3. I’ve got too much on my plate right now, so I don’t think I’ll be able to.
  4. I really don’t have any openings in my schedule right now.
  5. No thanks, I have another commitment.
  6. My bandwidth is very low right now, so I won’t be able to make it work.
  7. It’s not feasible for me to take this on.
  8. I’m not able to make it this week/month/year.
  9. I’m not taking on anything else right now.
  10. I wish there were two of me!

Saying no when you have been invited to something or have an offer standing

  1. Sounds lovely, but I cant!
  2. I appreciate the offer, but I won’t be able to.
  3. I‘m honoured, but I can’t.
  4. Thanks for thinking of me, but I can’t.
  5. I’d love to, but I can’t.
  6. Regrettably, I’m unable to attend.
  7. I’m really flattered you considered me, but I will have to pass up on the opportunity this time.
  8. It’s very nice of you, but I won’t be able to participate.
  9. It is very kind of you to invite me, but I don’t think I can attend.
  10. Thanks for asking, but regrettably I’m not going to be able to take part.

Any other creative ways to say no that you can think of? Leave a comment below!



Nunchi: The Communication Consultants

A young and emerging brand of Communication Consultants, changing the way people communicate.