如何说“NO”

No 是英文中最简单的单词之一了。连刚开始学英语的小朋友都知道no就是不/不行。可它又是最最难说的词,因为如何表达“no”常常关系到人际关系,工作协作,以及方方面面的事。

我总结了以下几种方法来表达不,根据情况选择最适用的方法:

1. 直截了当的说no

在一些情况下,直接说“No” 是最好的选择了。比如在街上有陌生人搭讪,或有人敲门问你可否为他们的机构捐款或是使用他们的产品等,如果你不愿意,直接礼貌的拒绝。有时我们不好意思,找了理由来解释,不仅浪费时间而且会让对方觉得还有机会,带来不必要的麻烦。

例如,如果你解释说“You asked for $50 donation. That’s quite a lot and I do not have that much cash.” 对方就可以继续问,“I understand. But how about just $5? It is just a small amount, but it helps a lot.” 这其实是一种manipulation, 让你难以再拒绝。直接一开始就说“No, thank you.”可以避免这种尴尬与麻烦。

2. 婉转表示有心无力(I wish I could…., but….

想拒绝朋友,同事或客户的请求时,像上面那样直接说“no”往往不妥,毕竟有伤面子,影响今后的交往。

需要拒绝时,要更婉转些,并适当阐述理由。其中“I wish I could…., but….”是一种常用句式:

“I wish I could attend that meeting, but I have a project due soon and I have to work on it the whole day.”

或者

“I hate saying no to you, but the time does not work for me.”

前面半句用来缓和语气(soften the tone), 后半句表明拒绝。

3. 表示对对方建议或请求的认可,但自己因为某些原因不能接受 (“That sounds like a good idea, but …”)

先认可及肯定对方提议的价值或感谢对方对自己的信任,让之后的拒绝显得不那么生硬。

Thank you for thinking of me, but I have too much going on this week. I’ll let you know if anything changes.”

顺便说一下,例句中的最后这一句,可以用在对方追问今天不行明天呢?这星期不行,下星期呢?回答“I will let you know if anything changes.” 可以使自己变被动为主动。

4. 表达无法完全答应请求但愿意帮些忙 (I cannot…., but I can …(a lesser commitment))

另一种婉转说不的方法是不能答应对方请求,但愿意提供一些相关信息,资料,或其他帮助。 比如,“This topic is beyond my expertise. I am afraid I could not give you much valuable input. I know Dr. ABC has written a research paper related to this topic. Maybe you can meet with him and see whether he can give any suggestions.”

“I’ve decided not to volunteer this year because I am feeling over-committed. But I can share this volunteering information with my friends. Some of them may be interested.”

“Sorry I cannot help you with that, but here are 3 awesome resources that would be helpful to you.”

5. 对不太确定的事,不要当场说 “yes” “no”

有时对某件事某个提议我们不确定是对是错或自己是否应该接受,匆匆表示行或者不行的话可能会再细想之后就后悔了。这时应该给自己多点时间考虑,表示会尽快答复。 常见的例子有:

“I need to check my schedule for the next week. I will let you know by the end of the day. “

“I have to consult with my wife to see what she thinks. I will follow up with you soon.”

或直接说

“I need a little bit more time to think about it. I will give you a call about my decision.”

 

无论哪种方法说“no”, 记住以下两点:

1.明确自己的立场,不要因为不好意思说“no”, 就勉强接受,给自己造成负担 (Yes to everything means no to the most important things)。而且如果先答应了,之后后悔了再说“no”往往更尴尬难看。

2.说“no”不要模棱两可,即使是用婉转与礼貌的口气,也要让对方清楚这是个拒绝,避免误会。基本原则是“don’t say MAYBE if you want to say NO. ”