I'm not sure if the answers to Appropriate ways to dismiss street vendors? apply to this situation, as it is about people asking for money without a compensation. That's why I'm asking a new question about an experience of mine, that got me thinking.
I was at a public location where usually a lot of students are around. Since I was waiting for something, I was just standing there. Then someone, let's call them "Bob", approached me.
Bob was around 20-30 years old and blended in perfectly with the other students. Nothing extraordinary about him, a very typical appearance. So this is not about a poor beggar.
While I remember that person vividly, I don't remember the exact wording, so please do not take everything in the following conversation literally. It's more important, what kind of information were given and what was left unsaid.
Bob: Can you help me?
Me: What do you need help with?
I thought he would ask me the way or the like.
Bob: Now followed a (somewhat) longer monologue about helping people. Sounded to me like a crowdfunding-related marketing text.
Me: How can I help you?
Bob: I need money.
This is the decisive moment my question concerns.
Back then, I said something to the effect, that I didn't have money (not a complete lie, especially considering that no information was given). This frustrated Bob so much that he went away immediately, mumbling something, sounding disappointed.
My question is: How do I (politely) dismiss a request for money from a stranger?
My goal is: I do not want to give them money, and want to end the conversation as soon as possible.
I would prefer a polite solution, but I became unsure about insisting too much on it and so only put it in brackets.
Now, additional details/explanations:
- Only in the last question did Bob actually mention money. He didn't do so before (also not during that monologue).
- Bob never disclosed how much money (or in which form, i. e. bank transfer or cash) he wanted or what (or whom) he needed it for for.
- I was surprised that the conversation ended so quickly. But I wonder, and that's also why I ask that question, how to react if they had continued asking for money.
- I'm not sure if my reaction was overly polite. The conversation was short and not unfriendly, but that's hard to judge now. I tried to remain neutral.