Modern Manners for Today’s Teens: Decline Kindly

Saying “no” to an invitation is often uncomfortable, even for adults, but being upfront and honest is so much kinder than just ignoring or avoiding someone. This can be such a hard thing for all of us but learning how to tell someone no nicely now will help you loads in the future. 

How to tell someone no nicely

How To Tell Someone No Nicely

Don’t ignore people. If you can’t make it, just let them know. Try one of these options or try coming up with your own. 

  • Thanks so much for the invite. I am so sad I can’t make it. 
  • Sounds like so much fun. I wish I didn’t already have plans. 
  • Darn! That night doesn’t work for me. Can we get together next weekend?

When you are on the other end of this and doing the inviting, isn’t it helpful to just know someone can’t come? It’s okay to not be able to make it, but it’s not okay to just leave someone hanging. Learning how to tell someone no nicely in an honest and quick way minimizes the awkwardness for everyone involved.

Teach Others How To Decline Kindly

For Younger kids

This is a great one to role play! Offer them different situations to respond to.

Teen Challenge

This week, respond quickly to each person who asks you about doing something. Use one of these phrases when necessary.

A Success Story

Alex used to just ignore texts and invitations that came to her if she couldn’t go or didn’t want to go. After reading this manner, she realized that she could do better. Alex worked with her dad to figure out how to say no nicely. Alex feels so much better now because she used to avoid people if she had to say no and even lost friendships because she would often just ghost people. Knowing that it is ok to say no and having techniques to do it well has significantly improved her relationships. 

Do you want more Modern Manners in Your Home or Classroom?

Buy the book! It has changed the lives of over 100,000 families and significantly improved connection and communication between parents and teens! In the book, you’ll get 52 modern manners including why you shouldn’t share hurtful things and why there is always room for one more

Leave a Comment

Do your kids have a hard time responding to texts? How have you helped them learn to decline kindly?