Imperfect Phrases For Relationships

101 COMMON Things You Should Never Say TO Someone Important To You...And What To Say Instead

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Robert's books have sold over 300 thousand copies worldwide, and have been translated into Chinese, French, German and Japanese.

He holds a Masters Degree in Applied Psychology, and has taught clinical and counselling psychology at the college level.

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Not now!


How to say "not now" to a child without sounding mean.Parents use this with children, and it’s completely understandable, but that doesn’t make it effective. Whether with adults, or with children, you do have a right to indicate that “now” is not a good time to do something the other person wants you to do.

One problem with it is that it’s a command, and adults don’t react well to being told things in this way. A second is that it’s harsh and abrupt, because it’s standing on its own.

 Make It Better:

You can say, “Not now”, provided you add verbal softeners to it. For example, with a child:

· Sweetie, not just now, I’m doing something, but as soon as I’m finished, let’s say in ten minutes, we can talk.

 With adults?

· Jack, not right now because I’m in the middle of something. Can it wait until I’m finished?

· Jack, hold on to that thought for two minutes, so I can give you my full attention.

 Much better.

 One exception: If you are doing something that requires your attention for safety reasons, (driving a car, cutting food), and you absolutely don’t have time to provide these longer responses, safety should come first. In those situations,  “not now”, will have to do.

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