There are plenty of reasons for someone to be too busy to talk to you. However, do you know how to reply to someone who says they have been busy?
Luckily, you have options. This article has gathered the best phrases to show you how to respond to “sorry, I’ve been busy.”
- What were you busy with?
- That’s okay; I didn’t mind
- Don’t worry; you’re here now
- You don’t have to apologize for that
- I understand you live a busy life
- I hope everything is alright
- Is there anything I can do to help?
- Don’t worry about it
- That’s okay, but I missed you
- At least you’re here now
Keep reading to learn more about what to respond when someone says they’ve been busy. We’ve explored some great polite options and included examples to demonstrate how they work.
1. What Were You Busy With?
One of the best responses for “sorry, I’ve been busy” is to ask “what were you busy with?” Okay, it might not be the politest thing to say, but it’s a good way to determine whether someone values you.
For example, there are two outcomes. First, someone may have been busy with work and couldn’t find the time to message you. That’s not their fault, and at least they were honest about it.
However, if someone has no real excuse for being busy all day, then perhaps it means they didn’t want to message you. There’s nothing you can do to change that.
Here are a few examples to show you how it works:
- What were you busy with? I don’t mean to pry, but it’s been a long time since you last messaged me.
- Well, what were you busy with? I hope it was nothing too serious. And is there anything I can do to help?
2. That’s Okay; I Didn’t Mind
Letting someone know they don’t need to apologize is also a good idea. Keep it simple with a phrase like “that’s okay; I didn’t mind” when they are too busy to talk.
We recommend using this in a text message to a friend. It shows you don’t mind them taking some time to do something important in their life. After all, you can’t expect your friends to text you every hour of the day.
Check out these examples to see how it works:
- That’s okay; I don’t mind. We’ve all got things to do in our lives. I’m just glad you’re here now.
- That’s okay; I don’t mind. I appreciate you messaging me now, though. We should talk about some of this.
3. Don’t Worry; You’re Here Now
Another great way to take the pressure off someone is to start with “don’t worry.” It shows that they should not have to worry about being busy, especially if they haven’t texted you for a while.
This one works well when a guy says “sorry, I’ve been busy.” If you’re flirting with them and thought you might get a reply, this could be a good way to show that you do not mind them being busy and not being able to message you.
Perhaps these examples will help you understand more about it:
- Don’t worry; you’re here now. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m just glad I get to spend time with you later.
- Don’t worry; you’re here now. Though, I do appreciate that you came to me to tell me you were so busy.
4. You Don’t Have to Apologize for That
“You don’t have to apologize for that” is a really kind way to show that you don’t mind if someone has been busy lately. We recommend using it when you are friendly with the individual who messaged you to apologize.
Generally, this phrase allows you to accept someone’s apology and move past it. It lets them know they shouldn’t feel bad, which is polite.
The following examples will also help you with it:
- You don’t have to apologize for that! We’ve all got things going on in our lives, so don’t worry!
- Oh, you don’t have to apologize for that. I wasn’t expecting you to reply to me quickly at all.
5. I Understand You Live a Busy Life
Being understanding is one of the best ways to show politeness toward someone. If they are busy at work and forgot to message you, maybe try “I understand you live a busy life.” It’s a great way to show that you respect their schedule and don’t mind.
We highly recommend this when talking to friends. It shows you appreciate their time and don’t want to force them into messaging you if they haven’t got anything to spare.
You may also refer to the following examples:
- I understand you live a busy life, so I don’t blame you. I’m just glad you finally reached out today.
- Don’t worry about it! I understand you live a busy life. Thank you for texting me when you did.
6. I Hope Everything Is Alright
Of course, there are many reasons why someone might be too busy to contact you. Perhaps something bad happened, and they couldn’t get out of it. You need to show understanding in these situations.
“I hope everything is alright” is a sympathetic response to “sorry, I’ve been busy.” We recommend using it when talking to close friends and showing that you care.
If you’re still unsure, you can refer to these examples:
- Hey! I hope everything is alright with you. Of course, I appreciate your stress, and I’d like to help you however I can.
- I hope everything is alright. I’m still here if you need to talk. However, I understand how busy you are.
7. Is There Anything I Can Do to Help?
A great question to ask is “is there anything I can do to help?” It shows that you care about your friends and want to offer them help if they’re too busy.
We highly recommend this if you are a helpful person. It shows you’re willing to do something to help someone when they need you.
Check out the following examples if you’re still stuck:
- Is there anything I can do to help? I don’t want you to feel like you have to go through this alone.
- Well, is there anything I can do to help? Nobody should have to experience this much stress without their friends.
8. Don’t Worry About It
A more simple approach comes with “don’t worry about it.” We recommend saying this in more casual situations when someone is too busy to talk.
It works both as a dismissive phrase to show that you’re upset or an accepting phrase to show that it’s not a problem.
Here are some examples to show you how it works:
- Look, don’t worry about it. You’re clearly overthinking the situation. I will wait for you to be less busy.
- Don’t worry about it. You have to sort these things out before you can commit to something like this.
9. That’s Okay, but I Missed You
When a girl says “sorry, I’ve been busy,” you could reply with “that’s okay, but I missed you.” It shows that you were thinking of them while they weren’t messaging you.
Of course, it’s a risky thing to say. It only works if the girl is into you and appreciates you saying something cute. Otherwise, you run the risk of annoying her or scaring her away.
You may also want to refer to the following examples:
- That’s okay, but I missed you while you were away! I’m just really glad you’ve come back now.
- That’s okay, but I missed you! I hope you missed me too. It feels like it’s been too long since we spoke.
10. At Least You’re Here Now
It’s not always nice when someone doesn’t message you, even if they’ve been busy today or lately. So, a phrase like “at least you’re here now” shows slight disappointment, but it also works as a polite way to accept their apology.
We recommend using this when a friend has let you down. However, if they’ve messaged you to apologize, it’s good to say this as a response to let them know that you forgive them.
These examples will also help you:
- It’s fine. At least you’re here now, and we can pick up where we left off when we last spoke about this.
- At least you’re here now, Howard. I appreciate your message, but you don’t have to apologize for being too busy.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.