Dating, Protocol — April 23, 2012 at 18:41

How to Politely Decline


There will be those moments when a dear friend, colleague or even a perfect stranger will offer you something, or invite you to an event that you have no interest in. Socially you want to decline the offer while remaining in pleasant regards with that person, (you never know when & where you may run into that person again) even if that person is a stranger. Here’s how its done.

  1. If in person, make eye contact and sincerely thank the person for the consideration, however, you have a previous engagement.
  2. If you received an email or text, you have 48hrs to deliver your decline. Depending on the offer, word your decline in such a way that conveys humility, appreciation and gratitude for being thought of; thank you so much but right now isn’t a good time for me.
  3. If money is involved, apologized and let the person know that you have other financial obligations. Maybe another time.
  4. If food is being offered, inform the person that you’re sensitive to certain foods, or that you have dietary restrictions that prevents you from indulging.
  5. If confronted by a stranger, remain polite and inform the person that you’re not interested in the product. Maybe some other time.

Your usage of declining shouldn’t be used as a means of being non-committal. When those around you come through for you, it’s only fair that you reciprocate when possible.


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