Questions tagged [saying-no]

Questions about how best to approach saying "no", or declining requests. Please explain in your question why just saying "no" is not sufficient.

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42
votes
9answers
6k views

Appropriate ways to dismiss street vendors?

In the Netherlands, it seems to be quite common lately to hire some students, put them on a busy main street or outside a supermarket, and have them target every passerby by asking 'Can I ask you ...
175
votes
14answers
33k views

How to tell people I'm not their tech support?

I have a rather common problem for people in my field of study (computer science). The problem is this: People, especially relatives, ask you stuff about their computer-related problems, for example: "...
184
votes
10answers
40k views

How to ask a vegan to stop telling me about veganism because I am not interested in it?

I work in an office with a couple of vegan coworkers. If I bring any animal products to lunch (even cheese, which they can smell), I'm likely to get a long earful about it. In the past, I've listened ...
141
votes
11answers
70k views

How to tell girlfriend I don't want to meet without hurting her feelings?

My girlfriend and I have "fixed" days we see each other, because we normally don't have time on other days. Sometimes, it happens that her training gets cancelled and she has time that evening and ...
75
votes
9answers
17k views

How to redirect a real-life help vampire to an alternate source of food… um… assistance?

I've recently had some troubles with a help-vampire in the office. She's about my age (late twenties), from India and she doesn't speak Dutch. She works in the same office as me, but not on the same ...
28
votes
5answers
32k views

How to gently tell someone that you just want to be friends?

Already many months ago, "Bob" joined my circle of friends. He has a plethora of good character traits and it is really great to hang out with him. In addition, he is a bit shy and also introverted. ...
174
votes
20answers
64k views

How to avoid being seen as a cash cow by my family?

Situation I'm German, in my mid-20s and currently living together with my girlfriend without kids. I earn a fairly good salary for my age compared to other family members and was always a saver (cheap ...
86
votes
8answers
55k views

How to reject a proposal from a close friend?

I have been friends with a girl at work for more than a year. I have always seen her as a friend and I am pretty sure I never did anything to lead her on. I am going to switch jobs in a couple of ...
32
votes
9answers
30k views

How to politely decline an opportunity to be involved in a pyramid scheme?

I have a friend who is involved in a Multi-Level Marketing scheme (which sounds a lot like a pyramid scheme). She often invites me to events where she sells things. When we meet outside these nights, ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I decline a hug without offending?

My boyfriend shares an apartment with an older man who has a physical disability which prevents him from walking. The housemate is very kind and intelligent. However, sometimes when I am alone with ...
25
votes
9answers
23k views

How to refuse to shake hands without offending the other party?

TL;DR: I don't like to shake hands and I'm looking for suggestions about how to turn people down without seeming rude or stand-offish; or how to prevent a handshake gesture from being initiated at all....
21
votes
5answers
2k views

How to efficiently and effectively decline help, being somewhat rude if necessary

As a person who is what is euphemistically called a "senior citizen" I occasionally receive offers of "help" that I do not need and do not want. Maybe in 10 years I will, but not now. I cannot figure ...
8
votes
1answer
899 views

Tactfully avoiding sharing food with a friend

Note: one of my best friends is in this situation with her friends, so I'm asking this question for her (from her perspective). I have a friend, Alice, who I was very close with in college. We'd ...
44
votes
5answers
13k views

How can I help a close friend get over me?

I have this friend, I could easily call her my best friend. We see each other at least twice a week usually, have travelled together etc. About 6 months ago she confessed that she has feelings for me, ...
35
votes
13answers
9k views

Explaining why I don't use social media

I don't use social media. Faceplace, flutter, you name it, I really hate it, and I avoid it. Unfortunately social media seems to be expected these days. Like it's a given that everybody uses it and ...
33
votes
15answers
13k views

Dealing with a friend trying to get me a girlfriend

TL;DR: Bruce is pushing for me to enter a relationship with Mary, and I like Mary, but don't want any relationship right now, and I want him to back off. The People Me: I am not interested in a ...
134
votes
7answers
33k views

Girlfriend's nosy mother keeps expressing that she'll show up unannounced

Some context: my girlfriend and I have been dating for a year, and we've decided to move in together now that she has graduated and found a job in her chosen career. We're both financially ...
36
votes
8answers
13k views

How can I tactfully refuse to let someone cut in line? [closed]

On over 3 occasions at different supermarkets in the same neighbourhood, I've bumped into the same person asking to cut in line. He usually says: Sorry. Can I please go in front? I'm in a big hurry....
33
votes
12answers
17k views

How to handle unwanted touching from my partner's friend during conversations?

My partner recently reunited with a friend "Bob" from high school, who has also recently been divorced from his wife of 25 years. He has been visiting us quite often lately and we do enjoy having him ...
33
votes
6answers
11k views

How to properly reject an intimate suggestion?

This question comes from a situation that was quite a while ago. At the time I was 16, while I'm 22 now. I'm a guy and was at my girlfriend’s house while we were cuddling. She suggested that I touched ...
27
votes
9answers
12k views

How can I get my sister to stop asking me to help her smoke?

My sister is in the hospital. She’s a smoker and has run out of cigarettes and is asking me to bring her more. She is not hospitalized because of her smoking. I strongly disagree with smoking and ...
71
votes
21answers
25k views

How do I deal with a mother who won't take “no” for an answer?

My mother is quite single-minded in getting what she wants. Unfortunately, she also has only a single tactic: trying to convince me every single time we talk. Most of these things are products or ...
31
votes
9answers
10k views

How can I tell my aunt that I won't be 'Santa' next year

My family has a very large Christmas get-together every year in which there is a tradition where one of the cousins (aged 20-30) will dress up as Santa (Edit: "Santa" for this is very gender neutral - ...
31
votes
7answers
7k views

How to nicely reject someone who is hitting on you in the United States?

The other day I was on the bus and this girl awkwardly walked up to me and started talking to me. She then gave me her number. I wasn't really interested in interacting more with her, so I pretended ...
23
votes
6answers
32k views

How to politely refuse money from someone who is insistent?

This question is based in the UK, with no specific religious or cultural preferences Often after doing a favour, some people will offer me money to say "thank you" or as some form of compensation, ...
8
votes
5answers
990 views

How to tactfully refuse to provide academic help?

As an undergraduate student(and a so-called nerd), I have had friends who requested academic help a day or two before exams. Now, I don't have much problem with helping them and I try my best to do ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How to say no without sounding rude?

Recently I have been having a lot of troubles with my friends, when they ask me to do something and I say no, because I don't like it or I don't want to do it. Example Friend: Wanna dance with ...
29
votes
4answers
12k views

How do I say no to a stranger asking to borrow my bicycle for a minute?

Last night, I took my bicycle to meet some friends (both boys and girls). While we were sitting there (on the curb, in a relatively secluded place where the teen will often meet for a pakal (a meeting,...
11
votes
2answers
691 views

How to decline a help request (which suggests that I must do all his job)

In my class, everyone is looking forward to the presentation of our little project (programming with C#) at high-school. Most of my class doesn't even know how to code properly and, because of that, ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I tell my friend that I don't want to go to her church without hurting her feelings

My friend invited me to her church and I went to the Sunday service. However, I didn't really enjoy the way the pastor communicated his ideas with us and he repeated a lot of the same things over and ...
36
votes
6answers
10k views

How to politely decline painting requests from co-workers?

Update: Someone recently requested I paint something, and I said that I'm short on time. It was really painless Thank you guys! I paint to relax. During the office lunch break, I paint in my ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

How to avoid having to kiss my mother on the cheek without offending her

On a regular basis my Mother is absolutely insistent that I give her a kiss on the cheek whenever I go out to a certain location, or just at certain times. Now I have no issues with hugging her, ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How to respond to peer pressure without being excluded.

Often a group of my friends will leave a party to smoke cigars/cigarettes. I do not smoke and have no interest in picking up the habit but I would like to be included in the conversation that happens ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

How to decline additional help when friend won't take no for an answer

A friend of mine has a business idea. He asked if I knew how to make (smartphone) apps, and I said yes. I recently graduated and currently have some spare time for a side project and could see this ...
8
votes
1answer
559 views

Dealing with friends are attempting to recruit me for a job

I'm going to leave as many details out as possible to keep this anonymous since they are in tech, but here we go: I have some friends who are starting their own company. They have some small capital, ...
5
votes
2answers
461 views

How to ask my neighbor who joined my sport club to play with other beginners?

I have been playing badminton doubles in a club for 2 years. I always play a good game and give a tough time to the players who were playing against me. In total we are 15 players in the club. We all ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

How to refuse someone asking for additional help “while you're at it”?

A while ago, I was visiting an acquaintance to help her with something. After I finished fixing the problem, she asked me to do another thing "while you're at it". Let's say I'm done sweeping the ...
3
votes
3answers
707 views

How to convince people I don't want to attend an event?

Note- I used the 'United-States' tag, but this takes place on the US-Canada border. TL;DR: There is an event that everyone is excited for but me, and I don't know how to convince people I don't want ...
3
votes
3answers
996 views

How do I avoid meeting an acquaintance that comes to visit every few months?

An acquaintance visits my city for 1-2 weeks every few months because her boyfriend lives here and wants all of three of us to meet up together. I'm fine with her, but do not like her boyfriend, ...