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How do you respectfully reject someone? 7 tips for effortless rejection

How do you respectfully reject someone? 7 tips for effortless rejection

How can you best reject someone properly? In a friendly, clear and polite way? For example, an applicant after an application or a date? Read along and find out…

Tip 1 – Say no immediately: don’t put it off

Don’t beat around the bush or procrastinate. Communicate loud and clear that the answer is no, even if you want to bring it “ sweet and kind. ” There should be no doubt or uncertainty about that no . How do you say no? In this article you will find tips on how to say no in a beautiful way.

Why is this important? Because all of this has to do with expectation management: you want people to know where they stand. That is why you want to keep the expectations of others as low as possible as quickly as possible so that no disappointments can arise.

Do not leave an opening so that the other person can think: “But, maybe I still have a little chance …” Do not give the other person empty hope: practice good expectation management.

Tip 2 – Give the reason(s)

You may recognize it: it is quite an unpleasant feeling to be rejected without getting a (real) reason . Moreover, rejection for no reason is very disrespectful. It tells the other that you haven’t even bothered to provide substantive feedback, so you have sent a ‘standard message’ to the other.

Be someone who can change that by being honest and actually giving the other person the reason (s) why you reject the other.

Tip 3 – State a positive intention


Examples of this are:

I want you to find a work environment in which you can thrive.

I want you to find the best job possible.

I want you to work with someone who is a good match for you.

Tip 4 – Use the feedback model

If you apply the feedback model, you do the following:

  • You name the positive intention (see previous tip).
  • You state concrete reasons.
  • You communicate your feelings (see next tip).
  • You wrap the rejection between positives: a ‘sandwich’.
  • You say what can be improved in concrete terms.

Here you will find an extensive step-by-step plan for this feedback model.

Tip 5 – Say how you feel: use nonviolent communication

Nonviolent communication in a nutshell: say how you feel. You keep it to yourself. However, this method can easily be performed incorrectly. So use this article to avoid the pitfalls of nonviolent communication.

Tip 6 – Never be  the sweet messenger with the death sentence

say no-decline

Are you going to reject someone? Either do it hard, clearly and confidently – so that the other person knows where they stand – or completely softly. But please don’t do it half-hard and half-soft. For example, you bring a hard message in a sweet voice, which is very unpleasant. In short: do it congruently.

Tip 7 – Always thank the other person

If you reject someone, it presupposes that the other person has made an effort for you in some way. The other person has made an effort to travel to you, write a letter, research you, ask you a question, show interest in you and / or compliment you.

Then it makes sense to thank the other for that.

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!