Elegance Handbook

Polite and Elegant Ways of Saying No

Do you often find it difficult to say NO? Well, here’s the thing; you’re not alone. According to research, 80% of the population has difficulty saying NO. The good news is that anyone can learn how to say no and do it politely without losing relationships. So with any further ado, let’s take a look at polite ways to say no every elegant woman should learn.

Polite Ways of Saying No Without Saying No

  • Thanks for the offer/ I appreciate the offer /
  • I am honored / Thank you for thinking of me/
  • I would have loved to / It sound’s lovely /
  • Thanks for the offer


  • I can’t/
  • I am not available
  • I already had other plans (commitments)
  • I am not particularly keen on doing X
  • I am afraid that’s not what I had in mind
  • maybe another time / maybe next time
  • I will pass this time

Elegant Ways of Saying No Using Other/ Time Commitments

  • If only I could I would, rein-check?
  • I already made other plans, I can’t
  • Unfortunately, I have something else
  • I have too much on my plate right now, I can’t
  • I wish I were able to, I can’t make it this time
  • I am swamped right now, I can’t
  • Another time might work
  • Ask me in a month or so

5 Books That Will Help You Say No with Elegance

Final Thought

1. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life

Author: Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Publication: April 1, 1992

Amazon Ratings: 4.7 out of 5

Henry discusses more on how to set boundaries. Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries affect all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances, Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions, Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others. Buy this here.

2. Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself.

Author: Dr. Aziz Gazipura

Publication: October 25, 2017

Amazon Ratings: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Dr. Aziz Gazipura takes an incisive look at the concept of nice. Through his typical style, Dr. Aziz uses engaging stories, humor, and disarming vulnerability to cut through the nice conditioning and liberate the boldest, expressive, authentic version of you. You’ll discover how to: Easily say “no” when you want to and need to, Confidently and effectively ask for what you want, speak up more freely in all your relationships, eliminate feelings of guilt, anxiety, and worry about what others will think.

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  1. Love and art of saying No: Journey Out of Co-Dependence, People-Pleasing, And Over-Commitment

Author: Amy Susanna Copeland

Publication: February 18, 2019

Amazon Ratings: 5.0 out of 5 stars

Love & the Art of Saying No takes the reader through the author’s story, articulates the lessons learned, and offers opportunities to “Practice Your Art” through reflection and encouragement. If you’ve ever felt taken advantage of, taken for granted, or overwhelmed with the weight of your responsibilities, it may be time to learn that sometimes saying “No” is the most loving thing you can do.

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  1. The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It — And Mean It and Stop People-pleasing Forever

Author: Susan Newman

Publication: November 15, 2005

Amazon Ratings: 4.2 out of 5 stars

Psychologist Susan Newman offers simple and effective techniques to help you say no and stop bending backward to please people. You will learn polite ways of saying no without feeling guilty or ruining relationships.

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5. The Power of A Positive No

Author: William Ury

Publication: February 16, 2012

Amazon Ratings: 4.7 out of 5 stars

.William, one of the most influential experts in negotiation, walks us through a powerful technique: “Positive No”. This is a three-step technique that teaches you how to be assertive and make your No firm. You will learn how to resist manipulation, and say Yes when you truly mean yes.             

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Learning how to say No when you mean No will help you stop being a people pleaser and have control of your decisions. You will also ooze confidence, a trait of every elegant woman!