How to say no to unwanted donation
I'm talking about cases when we were approached by some people who ask us to donate of to buy some stuff of ridiculously high price to support them. Even if they show me the permit of collecting donation, I'm hesitant to give out money because I'm afraid that my money would not be wisely used. I am conscious of handing out money because I haven't got my own income yet. However, some of them are really stubborn. I especially found it hard to say no to the elder or the disabled because I'm afraid i might sound too harsh on them. Do you have any advice for me on how to say no to them? How would you do if you were with your girls?
I remember one day I was approached by a gangster-looked guy who told me that he had just been released from prison and was currently having kids to bring up but no job. He asked me to buy some ridiculously expensive pens as an act of kindness to encourage him to continue to survive through. He even showed me his certificate of being prisoned. At that time, I did not really believe him and of course did not want to give out the money. However, I didn't dare to tell him that I thought he was cheating because I was afraid I would be beaten, of course by him, later. I acted stupid and kept saying I didn't need pen and therefore I didn't want to buy. He concluded that I didn't have a kind heart and left. If you were in my situation, how would you response?
I donate to carefully chosen causes. Perhaps you can do the same and just say that your donation dollars are already allocated there. I donate to Acumen Fund. My other cause is women's education in third world countries.
However, there's some interesting issues in there: there's how you'll be perceived by others, there's sympathy for the less well off, and perhaps a desire to help but you're not really sure. I suggest you work through these and figure out what you wanna do about giving. Social judgement may be one of the factors but it's probably best to leave it out.
Edit: perhaps this applies: The Importance of Setting Personal Boundaries » Personal Development - UrbanMonk.Net
If you're looking for a sort of script of how to deal with this sort of person. You could try saying, "I'm sorry, I"m not interested." and leave it at that. If you don't qualify this, and don't add anything to it, they're more likely to leave you alone. If they continue to talk, just repeat that line like a broken record. Eventually, they'll just give up and leave.
I like the repeating "No, Thank You" over and over again. If they keep goading or talking, look them right in the eye and say it again. Eventually they give up. Or you can walk away if you have the chance.
You could also examine the view of why this bothers you so much that he said you did not have a kind heart. Is it because you secretly agree with him? If you truly 100% believed you did have a kind heart, it would not bother you so much.
I'll tell you a secret, giving money to others may not be an indication of a kind heart. Some people give money out of guilt, fear, or to pay the other person to go away. So the act in an of itself is not an indication of kindness.
I just say, "Is this really what you want to be doing with your life, or would you rather be doing something else?" Almost always it's the latter. Then I refer them to a few articles on my website, which is an easy "sell" because the articles are free.
Realize that behind the personal soliciting for donations is a human being, often one who's feeling a bit lost and confused.
I just say "No, Thank you!" forcefully and with pride. All you are doing is declining an offer to give money to a complete stranger and there are plenty of reasons for it. It doesn't mean you are unkind or not a nice person, just at this point you aren't going to give money to a complete stranger.
If they press you, just move on, or say "I'm not interested." If they continue: "I don't give money to complete strangers, and I don't need a <selling item>."
As for how you feel: If you care what a complete stranger that's soliciting random people on a street thinks of you, you need some new priorities. If you think poorly of yourself, recheck your values. There's something hidden that's pointing to something in your life you are unhappy about. Perhaps them asking for money is pointing out that you aren't earning as much as you could be?
I might say, "You probably have more money than I do. How about you give me some money instead?" Just kidding - I probably wouldn't have the nerve. :)
Acutally, I'd probably say something like, "I'm really sorry, but, I don't like to give money away to complete strangers." (Thanks Parthon for that idea). "Sorry, I have hardly any money myself", I'd probably add if pressed. It's true.
I think the thing to avoid is seeming at all snobbish, cruel, lacking in empathy, etc.
Camouflaging yourself as someone poor might dissuade anyone from asking you for anything. If I lived somewhere with a lot of beggars, I might actually go out of my way to make myself look as poor as I am, because I really don't like having to say no to people.
Do you really need an excuse to say no?
Hahah, you're not alone. I love people.
Thank you very much for all the replies. I really appreciate them.
I want to clarify my earlier post a little bit. His comment that I didn't have a kind heart didn't bug me so much. Rather, I am looking for a better way to cut off the conversation in case that they pressed me further. Your answers would definitely help.
I agree with ns123 that giving out money is not the indication of kind heart. Many of us pay them to go away. I also don't think the money would help them in any way except encouraging him to go on with that kind of lifestyle
So sounds to me the truest and simplest response is, "Sorry, I have no money available for charity or donations. All the best to you..." And then move on, and don't engage in discussion.
In a society where begging is common, you could make it your full-time occupation if you listened and conversed and explained yourself to every case plead...draining your energy and time away from where you can make a real contribution and difference in the world!
Of course, there will be exceptions, and you must listen to your inner guidance about this. But probably your inner guidance will be clearer and more dependable to you when you get better at setting boundaries like this and more comfortable saying "no".
You don't have to give to people if you can't or don't want to. It doesn't make you a bad person. Just say no. Say, "I can't right now." Don't let people you don't even know guilt trip you into supporting them or their charity. Besides, donating money is the least you can do for a charity. You could volunteer there. Spending time is better than spending money.
"No thank you."
"No thank you, goodbye."
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