“it would cause the slow withering death of my soul” + 75 other ways to say No



1. I’ll be out of town.

2. I’ll be out of the country.

3. I’ll be frolicking through strawberry fields. Frolicking, I tell you!

4. I know I’m not the best person for that, you should ask ______.

5. I can’t do that.

6. I could do that, but then I’d have to kill you.

7. You don’t want to do that.

8. It’s not my thing. Now, figure skating is my thing…

9. I’m already overextended, and I wouldn’t want to do a mediocre job.

10. The idea is bad and you must be punished.

11. It’s not a priority for me at this time.

12. Have to jet, but thanks for asking.

13. I’ll call you.

14. Seriously, I’ll call you.

15. I’ve done it before and I didn’t enjoy it.

16. I’d rather stick needles in my eyes.

17. Or your eyes.

18. Let me check my schedule.

19. My schedule is up in the air right now. See it wafting gently down the corridor.

20. My schedule appears to have been devoured by wild dogs.

21. I don’t love it, which means I’m not the right person for it.

22. I have problems with commitment.

23. Commitment has problems with me.

24. I would prefer to do something else.

25. I would prefer another option.

26. I would prefer a night with Keanu Reeves, but that’s just me. Never mind.

27. I’ll have to check with Dude.

28. Dude would smack me upside the head, strap me down and force me to listen to Mariah Carey.

29. Let me consult with the fam. Which, as you know, is short for ‘family’.

30. I need more information on this.

31. I don’t want to hold you up/slow you down, so go ahead and try someone else.

32. I love it, but I know in my gut I’m not the person to execute.

33. I would be the absolute worst person to execute, are you on crack?

34. This is a joke. Right?

35. Life is too short to do things you don’t love.

36. Life is too short to do things that bleed your eyes out.

37. I no longer do things that make me want to kill myself.

38. I’ll do it for a gajillion dollars.

39. I’ll be taking salsa lessons with my evil twin.

40. Talk to my lawyer.

41. Talk to my business manager.

42. Talk to my dog. His name is Sparky.

43. Talk to me again in six months.

44. I can’t do it now, but maybe later.

45. You should do this yourself, you would be awesome sauce.

46. My ladyballs are not that big.

47. I am not The One for whom you have been searching.

48. You should speak to this other dude. Let me hook you up.

49. I have a date. Yes. Stop laughing.

50. You want someone who enjoys this kind of thing, and that’s not me.

51. I need to focus on my career right now.

52. I need to focus on my personal life right now.

53. I need to focus on my origami right now.

54. I need coffee.

55. I need to be free…with the wind in my hair….

56. I need to focus on one project at a time.

57. I would love to say yes to everything, but that would be stupid.

58. I’m not comfortable with that.

59. I would like to go in a different direction.

60. I am disturbed by your excessive use of smiley faces.

61. Some things have come up that need my attention.

62. Fuck no.

63. My instincts tell me I’m just not suitable for this.

64. There’s an appropriate person for this kind of thing – and then there’s me.

65. I’m not taking on any new responsibilities right now.

66. I am taking on new responsibilities, just not this one.

67. There is a person who totally kicks ass at this. I am not that person.

68. Perhaps we should eat.

69. Perhaps we should have the wild monkey sex. I didn’t mean to say that out loud.

70. It would cause the slow withering death of my soul.

71. I’m too distracted by that zit in the center of your forehead. It’s like a unicorn horn!!!

72. No.

73. Please no.

74. My eyes!!! My eyes!!!

75. Shoot me now.

76. I didn’t mean literally shoot me, you moron.

Aug 26, 2012

15 comments · Add Yours

Ha ha ha ha ha!!! Bloody hell, Justine, you’ve got me weeping with laughter. I love this. It deserves to be a large font poster, framed and hung on my wall. Hell yeah. Thanks, you dark goddess. :D


“I could say NO,orrrr, I could say YES, and do such an AWFUL job that you’ll NEVER ask me to do anything for you, EVER again. Which would you prefer?” That stops em!

Thanks for the hilarious list of ways to say No. How about, “I’m gonna take Nancy Regan’s advice and ‘Just say NO.” No matter how we say it, sometimes, it just has to be said.


I know someone who always said, “I’d rather be stretched naked over an anthill.”


My last wife was a seamstress (not sure a masculine form exists for that word) and she had a friend called Elizabeth who did similar work (Elizabeth actually specialised in invisible mending). My wife never refused anyone but often wanted to. Elizabeth, whose husband was called Tommy, gave her this bit of advice: “Whenever someone asks me to do something I don’t want to I say, ‘I’ll need to ask Tommy’ and ‘Tommy’ always says, ‘No,’ but that way he’s the bad guy, not me.” So my wife started saying, “I’ll need to ask Jimmy,” and suddenly all the pressure was lifted from her shoulders. That people started to think of her as under my thumb didn’t bother her nearly as much.


“I no longer do things that make me want to kill myself.”

This is my new mantra. Love!


“I would if I could, but I can’t so I won’t.”

The old-fashioned phrases are the best.

Saying ‘no’ isn’t that hard; saying ‘yes’ gets you into all kinds of trouble; ergo, say ‘no.’

And if you keep asking for more information, with a ‘yes, but’ in front of every request, eventually they will tire of asking, say ‘Never mind!’, and go away.


Adore. Thank you for brightening my migraine-stained Sunday, ya lil minx.


Or be like Dorothy Parker: mail the whole list to the one who keeps asking and let them pick.


You crack me up Justine. My two faves have to be…
26. I would prefer a night with Keanu Reeves, but that’s just me.
70. It would cause the slow withering death of my soul.

I admire your tenacity, transparency, and all you do for charity. Thanks for being a true badass role model for women. XOXO


@Otiti Oh yes, a poster, please! Or would you say “No” to that, too? ;-)


Wow. I love this. I’m definitely going to be using these -the funniest will go to those who have no sense of humour so that I can entertain myself with their reaction. :D


43. Talk to me again in six months. – oh goddess i always say these things to people i particularly despise. I often tell my friends that no matter how busy I am, I will always make time for you. but if i start saying, I’m busy, perhaps we can meet up, uh next year? That just means no, nada, nyet, bu shi


Can someone teach me how to say YES


LOL! I plan to use each and every one of these with my boss :-)


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