What's the best way to say "no" without hurting someone's feelings?
If you have a good relationship with whomever you're saying "no" to, they should be able to understand and won't take it personally. If the person you're talking to takes it the wrong way, storms off or doesn't understand why you said no, they might not be the friend you think they are.
From my experience, friendships that are actual have always mended themselves over time (if they needed the time) and the ones who weren't my friends just disappeared.
I think the best way to say "no" is not to say "no" immediately. Maybe you can say something like, "I am pretty tied up at the moment. Let me see if I can work out something. I will give you an answer by tomorrow." This will give the other person the feeling that you did not reject him or her offhand, without giving due consideration. It will also give you time to reconsider whether you really mean to say "no".
You're right. Anyone should be able to wait for your answer because after all they are the ones asking you for something? They can't assume that you're going to jump up and do them a favor the instant they ask you.
That's getting straight to the point with no messing around. I guess you just can't be afraid of the reaction you'll get.
I agree up to a point Jim, I don't go along with explaining why, none of us need to justify our decisions.
I like the "Sandwich Approach" . Positive, Negative, Positive. "I always love going out to lunch with you. You're such fun. I'd love to go today, but our website broke down and it will take me hours to fix it. Can we schedule for next week because I so much enjoy our lunches together?" It gets harder to do this with something that can really hurt a person's feelings, but I think It can be done and makes receiving the news easier because we all need the truth couched within the positives so after the initiial reaction to the critique, we're left with something we can hopefully build upon.
By being assertive, explaining your side of your story and your feelings, being upfront and honest with yourself and others is the best way to go. There is nothing wrong with saying NO, the difference is how you say NO. Reason, calmness and quiet voice is the way to go....
~If it's relevant, thank the person for having asked you before you say no.
~Instead of actually saying the word "NO," find a phrase that will say the same. Ex. My schedule won't allow ___.
~Give a brief reason why you have said no...You don't necessarily have to go into detail.
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