How to say no

I have never thought that one day that Twitter will practically be my one-stop centre for news, articles, gossips and whatnot (although we need to mindful of fake news, echo chamber, and homophily)  — but here I am finding this very useful diagram from @APottergard on things to consider before saying ‘yes’ to a project.


I admit that I am often guilty of saying yes very quickly to new projects because new things excite me  but then ended up being overwhelmed with too many things at once. Also, I personally found it hard to say no to someone who asked for help, especially if it involves things that I have an experience in and I knew I could contribute, alas, with lack of disregard of time I actually have. Something to work on.

Jocelyn K Glei wrote a short, yet effective article (true to its nature) on how to say no with grace:

As long as you are tactful, I have found that 95% people are extremely receptive to a clear “no.” Especially if you tell them why.

As in:

Nice to hear from you. At the moment, I’m focusing 100% of my energy on making [insert project name] happen, so I’ll have to pass on this opportunity. Thank you for thinking of me.


I appreciate your interest. Unfortunately, I don’t think my expertise applies to this subject so I won’t add value to your article about [insert topic]. I’m going to pass on this opportunity, but best of luck with the piece.


Thanks for reaching out. I love meeting new people who are aligned with what I’m trying to accomplish. Could you clarify what you were hoping to discuss on the phone call/coffee meeting you proposed so we can see if it’s a good fit?

So, in short:

  1. When you get requests to work on something, weigh down the options whether you have all the resources you have to do so
  2. If yes, proceed with caution (time & rates calculated, agree on a schedule, etc.)
  3. If no, decline with tact (see above)

It’s simple as it is actually. Now, on to actually put it to practice. Shiver.

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