Ghanaian may seem unreliable because we have a huge problem with saying no. In an attempt to be helpful or not to offend, we end up paying lips service and disappointing people, a lot.

Instead of saying no to an invitation or a request they know they won’t to able to honour, a typical Ghanaian will say, “I am sure, I’ll be there by 2pm”.

I am aware that saying no can be difficult, but you must understand that it is okay to say no to invitations and requests you can’t honour.

In fact, it is essential for your wellbeing and your relationship with others to be honest if you have to or want to say no. However, it takes practice to say no in a way that doesn’t offend people. If you have difficulties saying a simple no, try these alternates:

1.     Gracious: “I really appreciate you asking me, but my time is already committed.”

2.     Regretful: “I wish I could, but it’s just not going to work right now.”

3.     Someone Else’s Decision: “I promised my husband, I wouldn’t take on any more projects right now.”

4.     Family Time: “Thanks so much for the invite, that’s the day of my daughter’s soccer game, and I never miss those.”

5.     I Know Someone Else: “I just don’t have time right now. Let me recommend someone who may be able to help you.”

6.     Prior Engagement: “I appreciate you thinking of me, but I’m afraid I’m already booked that day.”

7.     Make an offer: “Let me tell you what I can do…” Then limit the commitment to what will be comfortable for you.

8.     I’ll give it a thought: “Let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you by Thursday, if I haven’t by then, please call me.”

9.     Taking care of me: “Thank you for asking, but I try to stay at home and rest my back on Sundays.”

10.  Ask me later: “I want to do that, but I’m not available until September. Will you ask me again then?”

11.  Keep trying: “None of those dates work for me, but I would love to do the interview. Send me some more dates.”

12.  Try me last minute: “I am not sure I can get there by 2pm, Will you call me right before you set off to be sure?”

13.  Gratitude: “Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support! I’m sorry I’m not able to help you at this time.”

14.  Just No: “Thanks, I’ll have to pass on that.”