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Simple – ask your neighbour to check with you again when you’re back.
And when you're at work, unless it's urgent, don't drop everything to attend to the newest task on your list – just say, ' Sure thing, I'll get onto that as soon as I'm finished with this project.' Feel free to use this classic rejection line if you feel that the product/idea/person/occasion is right for someone, but that someone isn’t you.
Don’t invent an ailing grandmother because you think it makes your excuse more palatable. If you justify your ‘no’ too much, it can seem like you’re lying – or worse still, it can allow the asker to find a workaround to try and make you say yes.
Sometimes people don’t respect boundaries, or are used to people caving if they ask again.
This can include reducing the size of the task, asking for a longer deadline or sharing the load with another person.
There’s no point in making someone wait for an answer if you know that your answer will be no.
You should only exercise this one if you know for sure that you’ll actually consider something later (otherwise, see #17).
Let’s say that you’d love to help walk your neighbour’s dog once a week, but not the week before you're leaving for a 2-month trip to Guatemala.
Another example is, ‘As a rule, I don’t donate money to political parties’.For example, if you know that your grandmother is going to try and push her Anzac biscuits on you when you visit, feel free to tell her that the doctor has told you to avoid sugar for a while if you don’t want to hurt her feelings.If your grandmother’s a tough cookie (pardon the pun) feel free to use #2.Just because someone is persistent, doesn't mean you have to give in.Smile politely, and say no a second time, just more firmly than the first. If it doesn’t ‘feel’ right, listen to your instincts – and say no.