how to say no

5 Ways How To Politely Say No Professionally Before You Explode

Do you often feel overworked and tired? Have you learned how to politely say no professionally? How to say no is not a sign of weakness.

But saying no as you turn down someone can be a sign of strength and confidence. Oftentimes, it will save you a lot of time if you learn to say no nicely when you prioritize your time.

How To Politely Say No Professionally
Just say no and turn down an invitation so you don’t suffer burnout.

Learning To Say No Saves You Time

When you choose to say no to people you are choosing your time over their request. You don’t have to be rude about it. Be honest and assertive. However, don’t give an excuse. Just speak up and learn how to politely say no professionally. 

It’s never easy or selfish to say no to a dear friend, family member, or good client. Moreover, you will feel torn when you have to just politely say no professionally to them.

However, if you continue to say YES to every request that comes your way you will become resentful. You will resent your family, friends’ and clients’ requests by not politely saying NO to their every demand.

Also, you may come to resent yourself and that’s not a good thing! That’s why you need to learn to say no nicely more often. You don’t want to build up resentment toward everyone.

Time is not something you can ever get back once you have lost it. Always remember that! Plan your days well and don’t let the day plan you!

When you choose to say no to people you are choosing your time over their request. #smallbiztips Click To Tweet

Don’t Say No Right Away

If you don’t say NO right away, give them a deadline for your decision. This will give you more time to make an informed decision and check your easy-to-use calendar and to-do lists.

You will not feel as bad and they will feel better too that you are taking their request quite seriously. If you answer too fast they may think you are brushing them right off with an excuse.

By taking your time you both will feel better about it. You won’t feel the guilt of saying “no” to them immediately. 

After all, you can try to sleep on it too. You may realize you may want to say yes to some things more than others. However, they make get back to you sooner than later. Ask yourself, how you would like to receive an answer.

However, you will find the right balance for you and your business by saying yes or no.

Be Cheerful and Offer Suggestions To Others

If you are going to politely say no professionally to a friend, offer them a suggestion. Give them some ideas on who else they can ask or what else they can do.

Don’t answer them begrudgingly. Learn to say no politely as you can and always be cheerful in your response if the answer is yes or no.

how to say no nicely
Learn how to be polite when you say no so you both feel better about it without guilt.

Moreover, you can reciprocate with some service or time for them. By doing this it could be a win-win for everyone involved. There is nothing better than a win-win today.

Learn The Way to Say Politely “No” Professionally To Clients

Some clients can become overwhelming. They may take up so much of your time that you are no longer making any money servicing them.

You will have to how to politely say no professionally to them in order to manage the rest of your business. You may have to fire them to stay in business!

However, give your client a chance by saying no before firing them. If they own a business like you, they may understand what pressure you are under and how time = money.

If not, let them go! It can be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business.

My Story

When I began my business 5 years ago I had a client just like that. Furthermore, they called consistently and wanted to change everything. The last straw was a weekend I was away and they were calling at 10 pm.

However, I realized it was them that wanted control of the social media posts. I thought, why am I doing them, then?

No money in the world was worth the aggravation. Not only that, but I felt worthless and my work pointless. There was no way to please them.

The best way to avoid this stress is to set up boundaries. Boundaries will help you to stick to your priorities and avoid distractions.

A week later another client came abroad and things worked out fabulously. Of course, I let the client know how I worked with boundaries politely.  Better to set up expectations from the get-go!

They may take up so much of your time that you are no longer making any money servicing them. #smallbiztips Click To Tweet

Getting More Rest Will Help Your Business Grow

By saying no nicely to many requests you will not be so overworked and tired. You can’t grow a business if you are always tired from a large workload. 

Therefore, you need to be refreshed and ready to go each and every new day. If you are running around chasing every request that comes your way you will not be able to get ahead or deal with things as they come.

There were many early days in my business when I worked 12-18 hours before I hired a few freelancers. You come to a point where you realize you can’t do it all in your small business.

You either have to cut back on work and start turning down some clients or delegate with hired help.

get rest
Politely decline some offers so you can get some rest and then get back to work refreshed.

It’s great to LOVE what you do but you need other interests and people in your life other than your business. That’s why most people go into business, to have the freedom to do what they want. Not to be trapped in another time-sucking job!

You need to have some time for yourself to unwind. That’s why you need to learn how to politely say no professionally!

By saying no to many requests you will not be so overworked and tired. You can't grow a business if you are always tired. #smallbiztips Click To Tweet

The Fine Art of How To Say No Nicely

Here are some examples of how to politely say no professionally today:

“Thank you for asking me about that but I don’t have any time on the schedule for it. I must pass.”

“I appreciate your asking me to do that. It shows you have confidence and trust in me. But at this point, I must say no due to prior commitments.”

Say with confidence: “I really wish I could help you with that, but I have no time in the schedule to do it and give it ample time and attention. May I recommend someone else for you?”

Tell them: “I’m sorry but I really cannot help you with that. I don’t have the time or attention to be able to help you but I can make a few suggestions for you.” Explain how you can’t meet deadlines right now. 

“I can’t add that to my schedule but can we discuss ways for you to get it done?”

Say something like: “Is there a way we may collaborate so I can find extra time to help you with that?”

By learning to say no nicely you are committing to yourself and putting your needs upfront. You can’t help anyone unless you help yourself first.

Your Turn: How To Politely Say No Professionally

Are you have trouble saying no professionally to clients and family and friends? Are you getting better at gracefully saying no to your business? 

I’d love to know more in the comments below about how to politely say no professionally, and if you have mastered it. 


About The Author

2 thoughts on “5 Ways How To Politely Say No Professionally Before You Explode”

  1. Thanks for giving me a strong nod to keep saying no to those 170 to 200 messages in my Facebook inbox these days lol. I quickly glance over virtually every message because most folks mean well but I have no time to check more than a few.

    Don’t get me wrong. I say yes to engaging all my new Facebook buddies through my wall. But the messages are not where it’s at. I appreciate all the new friends and I love helping people but it’s going to happen in public, not private.

    A few Messengers ask about blogging but it’s far smarter and more effective to engage through my live broadcasts, by thanking folks who like my travel photos, and by thanking folks who like my blog post posted to Facebook. Saying no is the ultimate energy saver. Say no enough and you will say yes to freedom. Great post.

    1. Hi Ryan, LOL. Oh yes, they can be so much spam in those. Especially after you accepted a friend request. Then I “unfriend” them. I rarely accept any new ones these days with all that spam and folks want to guest post. It is amazing how many emails I receive too now for blog posts and link insertions. Crazy! I need to update my contact page about that in some nice, professional way. Thanks for the reminder and for coming by Ryan. Make it a great day in paradise!

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