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Hi Stephen. Good question.
I am able to say things like the following.
"It is not convenient for me to do that."
"I have other things to do."
[and by the way, if someone is manipulative with you, and demands to know what things,
which is an intrusion upon your privacy, you can inform them that you have no difficulty
distinguishing between Private and Public activities, and as a consequence,
you are not "obligated" to the other person in an objective way."]
A firmer way of dealing with manipulative people would be to inform them that you are not
their Mommy or Daddy.
One of the needs in life that we all share Stephen, is the necessity to establish boundaries
between yourself and others. I suggest that you break the habit of continually making yourself
available to "help" others.
In addition, you can begin dealing with manipulative people by demanding that they begin doing things for you. That usually will put an end to that sort of neediness.
if you have no intention to do somebody a favour. just decline. to decline is to say NO politely.it s your right to say No whenever you want, wherever you want to whomever you want.
I"m sorry, I can't.
I really wish I could but I have ( an appointment, a test, a family thing to do... etc..)
I am super busy this weekend, but maybe next time.
Actually I am not feeling well, but I wish I could help.
I have out of town company, and they need me to constantly entertain them.
I have a ton of chores to do and am so behind on housework, so sorry.
The art of making excuses.