“I’ll get back to you tomorrow” gives you time to compare this request with Your core goals and values before saying yes.

Note: I suggest the saying NO about this current invitation only, and only this time.  The person is less likely to use hostile techniques when there is hope in the future. 

Do not explain yourself or give reasons (ammunition for manipulative people.  “No” is a complete sentence.

1. “Thank you for asking, but that isn’t going to work out for me.” 

2. “Thank you for asking me, but my time is already committed.”

3. “I’m sorry I’m not able to help you at this time.”

4. “Thanks for asking, but I have to say no this time.”

5. “I wish I could, but it’s just not going to work right now.”

6. “I just can’t this time.”

6. “I hope you’re not insulted, but my work schedule is packed and I must pass on this one.”

7. “With my calendar so filled, I am not able to take that on.”

8. “I know you care a lot about this but I must give my full focus to what I already am committed to.”

9. “Thank you for asking, but I’m not taking on any _______ while until I finish _______.”

10. “I just don’t have time right now. Let me recommend someone who may be able to help you.”

11. “I can’t do it, but I’d check with Ana.”

12. “What I can do for you is _________________.”  State what you are willing to do and do no more.

13. Invitation: “Thank you for the invitation, but I’m not available that night.”

14. “Thanks so much for the invitation, but I have to say no this time.”

15. “I appreciate you thinking of me, but I’m afraid I’m already booked on that day.”

16. “Sounds like fun, but I can’t tonight.  I already have a commitment.”

17. “Thank you for the invitation but have a commitment at 6:30 this evening.”

18. “I appreciate your asking, but this is not the best week. Can we reschedule?”

19. To put the person off more, “I appreciate your asking, but this is not the best time.

20. If you don’t want to see the person, delete the second sentence. “I appreciate your asking, but this is not the best week.”

21. Don’t use the caption from the New Yorker Magazine exquisite cartoon, “How about never? Would never work for you?”

When the person disputes what you have said, repeat the same sentence. Manipulative people will always try to manipulate.

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