How to Say No to Your Friend in Multi-Level Marketing

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During times of economic downturn, it is common for women to turn to multilevel marketing (MLM) businesses to make money and find career flexibility, but many people have no interest in attending sales parties or ordering products from friends who are hosting them. Some women have found success working in MLM, so its appeal is understandable. At some point in their lives, most women will have friends who work in MLM; there are times you may want to support them and other times you may want to steer clear. Either option is more than okay. If you find you want to say no to your friend who works in MLM, you can do so without damaging your relationship.

Don’t Be Judgmental

MLM can be very polarizing. It's fine if you aren’t a fan of that business model, but you don’t need to make your friend feel bad. Chances are she knows about the downsides of MLM and she’s looking for your support, not judgment. Even if you don’t want to start selling or buying her products, you can still show that you're on her side.

Offer Support Selectively

Again, you can choose how you support your friend. You don’t have to host a party, join her downline, or make large purchases, but you can show up for her: You can attend a party she hosts, leave a positive comment on her social media posts, or recommend her to friends who are looking to buy the products she sells — without having to commit too much of your time or any money.

Just Say No

If you receive an invite to an in-person sales party or a video-chat event about the benefits of the program, you can decline the invitation. You don’t need to give an excuse; a simple “Sorry, I won’t be able to make it” will suffice. Unless a friend is really pushy (in which case you can be more firm), saying no politely should do the trick and hopefully won’t ruffle any feathers. If your friend is upset that you’re not showing interest in her business, you can ask her to respect your boundaries whether they are personal or financial, which a good friend will do.


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