How to say ‘no’ tactfully in work-life


Office situations require delicate handling. There are times when work stacks on you and it is not necessarily your work. There are times when not knowing how to say no makes you feel overburdened with work and can cause mental breakdown. Here a few tips of how to tactfully say ‘no’ without burning bridges:


Stand your ground

Try and explain the work you have at hand in as less words as possible. Do not over explain yourself or you may risk the possibility of being tagged an escapist. Be direct; take deep breaths and explain your reason clearly. Try not to be arrogant; instead be assertive.

Deliver results as expected

Try and be dedicated to deliver results before deadlines so that your ‘no’ can make proper sense. Prioritising your work will help others respect your deadlines and work ethic and they will not burden you with extra work.

Ask your boss

If your boss asks your something, let him/her speak about how he/she would handle an additional responsibility like the one he/she gave you, and make him/her realise it is not possible. This way you can say no rather easily.

Do not be pitiful

Try not to be pitiful or you may risk the possibility of being taken for granted. This may prompt him/her to keep on asking instead of taking no for an answer.

Be practical

Learn to be practical while explaining reasons for your ‘no’. Make him/her understand that you can only concentrate on one task at a time.


Try and be reasonable and learn to value yourself. Once you do this you will know when to say and how to do it. Relationships in the office, both personal and professional, are important, but not at the cost of being overworked!

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