How to Say No

One of the self-imposed preconceptions I had of etiquette was that it was impolite to say no.

As an Etiquette Professional, I have learned that the opposite is indeed true.

At one time or another, you may be extended and an invitation to a professional or social event or perhaps you may receive a request for assistance on a business or personal project. You would love to honor the request ( or perhaps not), but for whatever reason, you may need to decline the invitation or a request to be of service to a friend, family member or colleague.

You would be surprised at how many people will try to re-prioritize their obligations or change their schedules in order to accommodate a request  that they would really rather decline.

Here are some Etiquette Tips to help you politely decline an offer, invitation or request.

Be Honest

Be honest with yourself and your host, we believe that honesty is the best policy. One of the greatest tenants of proper etiquette is to say what you mean and mean what you say. Let your words be true and seasoned heavily with grace. Saying yes to an invitation out of a sense of obligation or duty that is not completely sincere will only create feelings of animosity and resentment. It is not polite to ignore an invite or to give an excuse that is based on a lie.

Be Brief

We have programmed ourselves to think that we can not give a simple no without a post script. You may be tempted to offer a reason or explanation as to why you must decline an invitation. It is totally acceptable to decline an invitation simply by saying ” I will be unable to attend” or “I have another engagement”. It is totally acceptable to forego a lengthy explanation of your regrets. keep is short and sweet.


Be Firm

What if they can not take no for an answer, let sisters Dani and Dannah show you how.

For more tips and tools on all things etiquette please feel free to contact me.


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