How to say “No”

No, I don’t feel that your project matches my interests/values/skills.

No, I have already made prior commitments.

No, I’m sorry, but there is no possibility of us being together.

No, I don’t have the resources to give you exactly what you are looking for, but this is what I can do:

No, it isn’t something I feel I can prioritize right now.

Hell no.

No, I need some more time to make my decision.

No, now is not a good time for me, how about we reconnect at _____ ?

No, I don’t feel ready to make that commitment.

No, I can’t commit to this now as I have other priorities at the moment.

No, I don’t feel the same way.

No, I’m sorry, but that’s a personal question.

No, I am not taking any new clients at the moment, but as a prospective client, you could sign up on my mailing list so I can keep you updated!

No, I am currently in a relationship and I am not interested.

No, that is not good enough.

No, get away from me, you big jerk.

No, that project falls outside my expertise, what you need is a person who does _____, here are some referrals to get you started:

No, I am not currently accepting product exchanges or trades.

Are you kidding me? Oh, wow. You’re serious.

No, I am unable to reduce my fee at this time. Here are some references that would be better suited to your budget:

No, I am unable to reduce my fee at this time. Here are some (payment) alternatives for you to consider:

No, I am not comfortable with reducing my fees at this time. If you would like to have me on your project, we would have to negotiate and equally beneficial fee for the both of us.

No, my schedule is too full at the moment and I wouldn’t be able to give your project the attention it deserves.


have fun setting boundaries!



  1. “Hell no.” was my favorite. In Swedish that would be something like “Så fan heller” or “Nej för fan.”

    1. 😀 Thanks for telling me! I think it’s important to know how to say the essentials in many languages 😉

  2. Aha. I love this, and so timely for me. I’m currently figuring out how to do this in my life, and it’s such a hard thing to learn! I have one or two people close to me who mean well, but can be very manipulative. I am trying to learn how to deal with them, and finding ways to say NO NO NO NO THANK YOU is massively important. I love the format of this post too!

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