Mental Heath Moment

Nancy Bergeron, R.Psych. |

27 Ways to Say No

Are you a people pleaser? Do you have trouble finding the words to say no? Maybe you just need some time to evaluate whether you want to say yes. Don’t let others rush or pressure you into something you may not have the capacity for. Here are 27 ways to say no or defer your answer:

I am not comfortable with that.

I have some other things that need my attention right now.

I need to focus on myself/personal life/job.

I’m sorry but I just don’t feel qualified to help with that.

I wish I could but I am unable to help.

I can see you want my help but I am just unable to.

I just don’t have that to give right now.

That sounds wonderful but I just can’t commit.

Gee I wish I could but I just can’t right now.

I’m sorry but I can’t help you at this time.

I’m just too occupied at this time, so I can’t.

Unfortunately, it’s not a good time.

Circle back to me in few weeks.

I can’t make it this month, week, day, year.

Perhaps another time.

I am not available for this.

Sorry, this is something I can’t do right now.

I really appreciate you asking me but I can’t commit to that right now.

Sorry, I can’t make it, maybe another time.

I’m afraid I don’t have any open time for that/this.

I can’t as I have some other pressing commitments.

I’ve filled my schedule.

I’m really swamped right now.

I’m so overwhelmed these days that I can’t take on anymore.

Right now, I’ve got way too much on my plate.

I’m not taking on any more work/tasks/projects at the moment.


*Remember you do not have to provide any explanations for saying no.

People pleasers are constantly getting manipulated. You are not responsible for other people’s emotions. Every time you say yes to something or someone, you are unwittingly saying no to someone or something else at the same time (usually your own needs). In trying to please everyone, you end up disappointing almost everyone, especially yourself (Read: resentment). People will actually learn to respect you more. You are staying true to your values. It’s empowering to say YES when you truly want to. You are of value, you have the right to say no.