Use This Letter To Say No To Anything

Stephanie Cansian
2 min readSep 14, 2021
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

This letter is for anyone who has a hard time saying “no” to a request for help, an invitation to a social function, or a job demand outside the scope of their position.

You can use and reuse this form email forever to help protect your boundaries while still maintaining a good relationship with the person asking/inviting/requesting work.

You won’t have to say yes to something you don’t want to do and wind up resenting the person asking.

And the person asking gets a reply from one of the probably many people they are requesting quickly and with a definitive answer.

It’s a win/win situation all around.

Hello/Hi/Dear [Person You Are About To Say No To],

Thank you for reaching out!! I appreciate you thinking of me for [the thing you are about to say no to].

If you are willing to do the thing but not at that time:

However, I will be unable to [assist/attend/participate] due to a prior obligation. I would be able to [help/attend/work] after [a specific date you would be willing to do the thing].

If you are not willing to do the thing at all, ever, please use the following line instead:

“Unfortunately, I will be unable to [attend/assist] due to a prior engagement that can not be rescheduled or renegotiated.”

I hope everyone has [does well/the best time/a productive day]. I look forward to [hearing about it later/seeing pictures/reading about it in the company newsletter/speaking to a mutual acquaintance] afterward.

Please keep me in mind for next time! (Omit this if you never want to do the thing ever.)

All the best/fondest regards/cheers!

[Your Name]

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Stephanie Cansian

Content creation and copywriting for the coolest people on earth. If you like what I write, let’s talk.