Twenty ways to say “No”

  1. I am in the middle of several projects
  2. I am not comfortable with that
  3. I am not taking on any new responsibilities
  4. I am not the most qualified person for the job
  5. I do not enjoy that kind of work
  6. I do not have any more room in my calendar
  7. I hate to split my attention among projects
  8. I have another commitment
  9. I have no experience with that
  10. I know you will do a wonderful job yourself
  11. I need to focus more on my personal life
  12. I need to focus on my career right now
  13. I need to leave some free time for myself
  14. I would rather decline than do a mediocre job
  15. I would rather help out with another task
  16. Let me hook you up with someone who can do it
  17. No
  18. Not right now, but I can do it later
  19. Some things have come up that need my attention
  20. This really is not my strong suit
By Ramona Creel from Online Organizing

This is a good list, and the site contains reasons why they can be used and why you can justify using one of them.  But saying no doesn’t really require justification.  You don’t need to explain yourself.  The greatest reason that I have ever heard and which ends the discussion before it begins is from Dr. Paul O.: “I’d rather not.”  And, if you’re really irritated, or you just don’t want to be polite you can always try, “What?  Are you high?”