Saying "No." comes quite naturally for me. I have tried hard to be civil about it, though.
"Thank you, not now."
"I don't see it exactly that way."
"I'd rather not, but thanks for asking."
"Not my style."
Polite answers like these are given when I need to be more emphatic. I don't work with the public anymore. so why should I leave any doubt that your question or comment is totally offensive to me? That remaining doubt bothers me. It's like doing a quick housecleaning. The house is cleaner , but I know that the job was not finished. I have to carry it around with me. It's also not honest to mislead others. I don't need to be mean, but I need to be absolutely clear.
I've put this new policy into practice this week
Telemarketer: Hello, how are you this evening, I'm Dickie McDickDick from The Indiana Troopers Association, and I'd ....
Me: Look Jack, you're on of about 900 police funds that call my house. I will not give you any money. Quit annoying me and don't call here again!
Friend: Do you think the Cubs will win this year?
Me: I hope not. I hate the fucking Cubs.
Mother-In-Law: Rush Limbaugh made some good points about the financial crisis. Did you listen to him this week?
Me: No. I think he's an idiot. I'd like to punch in that gas bag's fat face.
This seems to be working. I shouldn't waste an ounce of my good will to soften situations like this. I can be nicer and more loving the rest of the time as a result.
Just say NO !