This past week, I was conversing with a senior friend (not a colleague) of mine and in his text, he sent me something which suggested that he could help me out with making my resume, with his texts being in quite a zealous mood.

I replied with the following (with a little tone of hesitation):

"Actually I'm preparing myself for an exam before I start working on my resume. Thanks for offering me to help though :) "

.. Right after I sent the text, I realized my text feels a little cold cause I didn't reciprocate the good vibe. The first line feels a little meek or something just doesn't feel right. How may I change the wording to make it sound better? Any better alternative way to convey the same thing with a little more energy? I think that adding a "well" before "actually" does make it better(makes it a little more polite), but it still steals the enthusiasm from his comment.

  • 1
    You could've started with it's very kind/considerate of you to... and I'd be happy to receive your advice on that, but unfortunately... – Yuri Oct 16 '16 at 8:17
  • 1
    We usually say "I'm preparing for an exam", without "myself". If we include myself, the preparation would not be studying but would be emotional or mental, like preparing oneself for an ordeal, – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 16 '16 at 10:09
  • @TRomano Yeah, you're right, but the other person told me that he was busy in something, that's why I added "myself" to emphasize "me too!" It looks okay to me in that sense. Don't you agree? :) – Jony Agarwal Oct 16 '16 at 18:17
  • 1
    In the sense of "I too am preparing" it is OK. However, while myself could go directly after preparing ("I am preparing, myself, ...") with such a brief complement ("for an exam"), it would be more natural to keep the phrase together: "I'm preparing for an exam myself." With a long complement: "I am preparing, myself, for a three-month journey on camel across the Gobi Desert". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 17 '16 at 11:38
  • 1
    @Jony Agarwal happy to help pal – Yuri Oct 19 '16 at 10:33

If you wish to "reciprocate the good vibe" you could ask for a "rain check". Literally a rain check is a voucher one receives when a game or other event with paid admission is cancelled because of inclement weather. Figuratively, it means "Can we postpone?"

I'd like to take you up on your offer to help me with my resume, but can I take a rain check? I'm preparing for an exam later this week.

A single word dropped into the sentence here or there, like "Well, ..." won't achieve the tone you're after. Your final words of thanks ("thanks for offering to help me though") put an end to the offer. They suggest there was only one window of opportunity, that the timing didn't work out, and that you're willing to say that's the end of it.

|improve this answer|||||
  • Yikes. Did I really say it's the end of offer? I am slamming my head on the keyboard right now specially because the person cares about me so much. I really need to improve my communication skills. Would you kindly tell me where I could find these rules? or how do I know if something I say sounds a little too diplomatic? Thanks a bunch for your answer :) – Jony Agarwal Oct 16 '16 at 18:14
  • 1
    It's not a "rule". There is an implicit meaning in the concessive though there. What is the concession? In context, the phrase "thanks for offering though" could be paraphrased "I'm grateful for your offer to help even though I could not take you up on it because I must prepare for a test which is more important than my resume at this time". The word though refers obliquely to the circumstances which made it impossible for you to accept. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 17 '16 at 11:26
  • 1
    though there could be replaced with the synonymous nonetheless whose meaning could be paraphrased "I am no less grateful for your offer to help (even if I am unable to take you up on the offer)" – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 17 '16 at 14:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.