Are you trying to figure out what to say instead of “none of your business”? After all, it’s not a polite phrase.
Luckily, you have options. Plenty of great synonyms will allow you to sound polite and respectful when letting someone know something doesn’t apply to them.
Some of the best synonyms include:
- I’d rather not say
- I’m afraid this doesn’t concern you
- That’s not for you to know
- It’s confidential
- Let’s talk about something else
- I won’t talk about that
- Can we change the subject?
- This is a private matter
- It’s none of your concern
You should read on to find out more about the best options. We’ve explained how they work and given some examples to show you when they suit your writing.
1. I’d Rather Not Say
“I’d rather not say” is a great example of how to say “none of your business” professionally. You should use it when you don’t want to share information with someone. It’s especially effective if the person has no reason to know about said information.
You can also refer to these examples to show you how it works:
- I’m sorry, but I’d rather not say. You probably don’t need to know more about this than you already do.
- I’d rather not say what we’re talking about now. If you would be so kind, I’d appreciate more discretion.
2. I’m Afraid This Doesn’t Concern You
“I’m afraid this doesn’t concern you” is a great formal alternative to “none of your business.” You can use it in professional situations when someone should keep out of your business.
It teaches you how to tell someone to stay out of your business without hurting their feelings. It’s a subtle and polite way to show that someone should not ask you for more information.
Here are some examples to show you how it works:
- I’m afraid this doesn’t concern you. So, if you wouldn’t mind leaving to allow us to keep the conversation going.
- Oh, I’m afraid this doesn’t concern you. We will let you know if anything changes and things affect you.
3. That’s Not for You to Know
“That’s not for you to know” is a really suitable alternative if you want to sound respectful and polite.
You can use it both formally and informally, so it’s quite an effective option regardless of the tone you’d like to convey.
You can refer to these examples to help you understand it:
- I’m not sure why you’re asking about that. That’s not for you to know. We’re trying to keep it private.
- Well, it’s not for you to know. You shouldn’t ask questions when you don’t know what you’re asking about.
4. It’s Confidential
“It’s confidential” is a great and simple alternative to “none of your business.” You should use it when talking about private information.
“Confidential” suggests that someone has no right to know what information you’re discussing.
Also, here are some examples to show you how to use it:
- I’m sorry, but it’s confidential. There’s no reason for you to know more about this than you already do.
- It’s confidential information. Please, don’t ask us any more about this. It’s not for you to know.
5. Let’s Talk About Something Else
“Let’s talk about something else” is a suitable synonym to steer the conversation elsewhere. It lets someone know that they are butting into things that don’t concern them while remaining polite and respectful.
Perhaps these examples will help you understand it:
- Let’s talk about something else while Jackson is here. There’s no reason for us to discuss more now.
- They probably shouldn’t know about this. So, let’s talk about something else until they leave again.
6. I Won’t Talk About That
“I won’t talk about that” is a subtle alternative that works well. You can use it if you want to be friendly and polite. It lets someone know that you will not share more information with them.
However, it allows you to spare someone’s feelings as well. You can say “I won’t talk about that” to move on from a subject without upsetting someone.
You may want to refer to these examples to help you:
- I won’t talk about that with you. You probably don’t need to know how things are going.
- I’m sorry, but I won’t take about that again. There is a time and place for these things.
7. Can We Change the Subject?
“Can we change the subject?” is a great question alternative. You can use it when someone has asked too many questions about things that don’t concern them.
Asking “can we change the subject?” shows you are uncomfortable saying any more about a topic. It’s a polite and clear way to let someone know to stop pushing the matter.
You can also check out the following examples:
- Can we change the subject? I don’t want to upset you, but you have no reason to know about these things.
- Look, can we change the subject, please? You shouldn’t be asking about stuff like that.
8. This Is a Private Matter
“This is a private matter” is a professional synonym that works well. You should use it when you don’t want people trying to butt into your private affairs.
Generally, announcing that something is a private matter makes it clear that you won’t talk about anything until certain people leave. It’s a fairly formal and polite way to show someone that they are overstaying their welcome in a conversation.
Perhaps these examples will help you understand more about it:
- I’m very sorry, but this is a private matter. Haven’t you got anywhere else to be right now?
- This is a private matter, Josephine. You need to be more tactful about the questions you ask.
9. It’s None of Your Concern
“It’s none of your concern” is a great professional synonym for “none of your business.” Incidentally, it’s quite polite. However, some might be offended if you use it with a negative or sarcastic tone.
Still, it’s one of the most popular choices when people want to keep their affairs private. If you say “it’s none of your concern,” most people will respect that and move along.
You can refer to these examples to help you:
- I’m afraid to say it’s none of your concern. Now, please leave us with it so we can figure out what to do.
- It’s none of your concern, Howard. You do not need to find out any more about this than you already know.
Is It Rude to Say “None of Your Business”?
“None of your business” is rude. You should avoid saying it in professional situations because it is not respectful.
Generally, you should only use it as a last resort when someone annoys you or asks too many questions.
You might find some people saying it informally. It’s still rude when said informally, but it’s slightly more acceptable because you do not have to worry about formal tones in your speaking or writing.
There are plenty of more polite alternatives. So, we recommend reading the rest of this article to find out more about them.
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.