I think appreciation is a basic human courtesy.

When people offer - know your rights.

You have the rights to accept, but you definitely have the rights to reject.

When you accept, do appreciate as people, to a certain extend, would expect something in return when they give.

If you think that the person has some agenda while offering you something - if you are not ready to appreciate and if you don't like the person, the simplest thing to do is, to reject.

It's all about, doing the right thing from the first step.

It is worse, if you give person the hope of putting in emotion on you - for a possible relationship.

As long as there's no clear answer, you'll leave the person hanging.

Why waste time for both of the parties, if you think you are not ready?

Because there's a high possibilities that the person who gives, would come back and seek for some 'respond' from you.

It's not about "I'm afraid I would hurt the person, if I reject him/her"

It's better to hurt him/her (and stop giving hope) on the first day itself, rather than dragging for months, only tell him/her that 'I really think I'm not ready'.

Being hurt on day 1 vs Being hurt after few months of putting in emotion - which one do you think that will give greater impact?

Therefore, dare to reject for the right reason - that's the way people would appreciate you, at the end of the day.

Even doing the charity is better - people would smile at you, thank you - and you don't need to put in emotion and hoping for return.