What can I say instead of no?

99 Ways to Say No

What can I say instead of no?

99 Ways to Say No     Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Claire Diaz-Ortiz

Venture Capital Investor and Author   Published May 1, 2013           + Follow

This year, I decided to follow the advice of some smart people and create a word of the year. My word  REST  is my attempt to direct my thoughts, actions, and intentions to be more rested, healthy, and whole.

When I have a choice between X and Y, I remember my word. When I need to make a decision between going out or staying home, I remember my word. When I want to drink another double shot espresso, I remember my word.

Part of the challenge in this is that it has tasked me to say "No" on many occasions when my normally overactive brain and body simply wants to shout "YES!"

Saying NO, as everyone knows, is hard. And so I've been learning to get better at it.

Recently I challenged myself to come up with 50 ways to say NO.

My aim was that each word or phrase should be truthful, firm, and not apologetic or explanatory. (Sometimes I succeeded wildly, sometimes not so much.) My readers eat up the list, and sent me tons of great phrases to add.

And then, I wondered if I could do better.

Could I come up with 99?

I could. And I did.

99 Ways to Say No

  1. Not now.
  2. Look! Squirrel! (This was the best NO suggestion I received from a commentor on my earlier post. I can't wait to use it.)
  3. My word of the year is REST, so I cant fit another thing in.
  4. Nope.
  5. No thanks, I wont be able to make it.
  6. Not this time.
  7. Heck no.
  8. No way, Jose. (Since my husband is named Jose, this is a favorite in our house.)
  9. Regrettably, I'm not able to.
  10. It's that time of the year when I must say no.
  11. It's a Wednesday. I have a "No on Wednesday" policy.
  12. Ask me in a year.
  13. I know someone that might be a fit for that. I'll email you their information.
  14. You're so kind to think of me, but I can't.
  15. Maybe another time.
  16. Sounds great, but I cant commit.
  17. Rats! Wouldve loved to.
  18. Im slammed.
  19. Perhaps next season when things clear up.
  20. Im at the end of my rope right now so have to take a raincheck.
  21. If only it worked.
  22. Ill need to bow out.
  23. Im going to have to exert my NO muscle on this one.
  24. Im taking some time.
  25. Thanks for thinking of me, but I cant.
  26. Im in a season of NO.
  27. Im not the girl for you on this one.
  28. Im learning to limit my commitments.
  29. Im not taking on new things.
  30. Another time might work.
  31. It doesnt sound like the right fit.
  32. I'm RESTing right now.
  33. Im not sure Im the best for it.
  34. No thank you, but it sounds lovely.
  35. It sounds like youre looking for something Im not able to give right now.
  36. I believe I wouldnt fit the bill, sorry.
  37. Its not a good idea for me.
  38. Not now.
  39. Im trying to cut back.
  40. I wont be able to help.
  41. If only I had a clone!
  42. Im not able to set aside the time needed.
  43. I wont be able to dedicate the time I need to it.
  44. Im head-down right now on a project, so wont be able to.
  45. I wish there were two of me!
  46. Im honored, but cant.
  47. NoNoNoNoNoNo.
  48. Im booked into something else.
  49. Im not able to make that time.
  50. Thanks, but no thanks.
  51. Im not able to make it this week/month/year.
  52. Bye now.
  53. Ive got too much on my plate right now.
  54. Im not taking on anything else right now.
  55. Bandwidth is low, so I wont be able to make it work.
  56. I wish I could make it work.
  57. Not possible.
  58. I wish I were able to.
  59. If only I could!
  60. Id love to  but cant.
  61. Darn! Not able to fit it in.
  62. Nah.
  63. No thanks, I have another commitment.
  64. Unfortunately, its not a good time.
  65. Sadly I have something else.
  66. Unfortunately not.
  67. I have something else. Sorry.
  68. Apologies, but I cant make it.
  69. Thank you so much for asking. Can you keep me on your list for next year?
  70. Im flattered you considered me, but unfortunately Ill have to pass this time.
  71. And my favorite, Oh I wish I could help but you know, I bet Claire could help you with that.
  72. Thank you for thinking of me. Unfortunately its just not a match.
  73. No, sorry, thats not really my thing
  74. Can I get back to you on that?
  75. Ew.
  76. No, Id rather you didnt, but thanks anyway
  77. I can't make it work.
  78. It just won't fit right now.
  79. I'm really buckling down on my priorities right now, so I can't.
  80. No say I.
  81. What's the compensation?
  82. How much are you able/willing to pay
  83. Ick.
  84. Are you able to better that offer?
  85. Sorry, no can do.
  86. I only say yes to very select opportunities, and unfortunately this doesn't meet my criteria.
  87. The demands would be too much for me.
  88. It's not feasible for me to take this on.
  89. I wish I had all the time in the world.
  90. My body double can.
  91. In another life.
  92. I cry, but decline.
  93. My advisors won't agree to it.
  94. My body says yes, but my heart says No.
  95. I'm not the person you're looking for.
  96. I don't have an iota of bandwidth left in my brain.
  97. If only.
  98. N to the O.
  99. NO.

318  126 Comments   Like Comment Share

Boris Petrovich Poluhoff                       The best!!!             Like         Sign in to like this comment       Reply         Sign in to reply to this comment                      3mo

Boris Petrovich Poluhoff                       "BUSY is the worst four-letter word in the English language."https://youtube.com/shorts/yA-WTq9bucM?feature=share             Like         Sign in to like this comment       Reply         Sign in to reply to this comment                      4mo

Scholastica Turner-Moore                       Just added it  to my Communication Toolbox!             Like         Sign in to like this comment       Reply         Sign in to reply to this comment                      6mo

Boris Petrovich Poluhoff                       The best!!!!!             Like         Sign in to like this comment       Reply         Sign in to reply to this comment                      1y

Baldev Singh Rawat                       Interesting!              Like         Sign in to like this comment       Reply         Sign in to reply to this comment                      2y

Chad Singer                       Thank you!             Like         Sign in to like this comment       Reply         Sign in to reply to this comment                      3y

Becca Robins                       This is the best thing I have ever read.             Like         Sign in to like this comment       Reply         Sign in to reply to this comment                      4y

Tiya R.                       This was an awesome list; inclusive of way's to say in in SEVERAL scenarios from candid, informal situations to ones that could cause an awkward outcome with a flat out 'No.' Now why did it take me so long to come across this great read?! :)              Like         Sign in to like this comment       Reply         Sign in to reply to this comment                      6y

Ralph Bishop                       "Get lost, jerk!"             Like         Sign in to like this comment       Reply         Sign in to reply to this comment                      6y

Kim Bergstrom                       This list of Nos was very timely, even though I found it three years later! Unfortunately Nos continue to come up. They never go out of style.             Like         Sign in to like this comment       Reply         Sign in to reply to this comment                      6y       See more comments

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