WHEN YOU SHOULD SAY NO
There have been so many times that I knew I was going to be overwhelmed if I told one more person that I would do something for them. Sometimes it was taking on a responsibility that really was not mine. Just someone needing a little help. Or perhaps it was a special party to go to, and oh yes, by the way please make you 7 layer Coconut Cake for the dessert bar. It could be a simple go out with friends.
In reality, most of us are overworked, overscheduled, overwhelmed and in constant need of self-care. Our time and energy needs to be focused on our very own self-care. Plus, no one should feel guilty about this. I learned that it is ok to give myself permission to say no. There is an art to saying no. We get to set our boundaries. There is a way to say no without sounding grumpy or uncooperative. Simply saying that you are sorry but you already have plans.
- "That sounds like fun, but I have plans."
- "Gosh, I would love to come but I have a previous appointment."
- "Thank you so much for thinking of me but unfortunately, I am unable to attend."
- "I really don't have the extra time for socializing, so keep me in mind for the future."
- "I would love to go but I have a golden rule of staying home on Sunday night."
- "I just can't put one more thing on my plate right now."
Sometimes these simple excuses don't seem to work with everyone and you must get more detailed. Let's be honest, there really are some times that you have to say yes. Such as to your boss (even then there are times that a boss can load your plate up and then it is the perfect time to ask for clarification on which is highest on his/her priority list. They don't always remember all of the jobs they have dished out to others.
Others have been known to tell little white lies such as having a migraine, no babysitter, friends are coming in town, or I must pack for a trip tomorrow. Don't go overboard or a lie can come back to bite you.
You can be considerate and respectful and still say no graciously. Think before you respond. Tell the person that you must check out your calendar and weigh your time options and you will get back to them tomorrow. Accentuate the positive by saying how much you appreciate the opportunity but I still am not able to take anything else on at this time.
I find that it is always good to listen to how they respond to your no answer. It helps to acknowledge that you are aware they are in a bind and that you would help if you could. Be strong and don't give in. It is their problem, not yours.
Less explanation is best. Remember that no is a complete sentence. And that is ok. When asked to give money for a donation and you feel as if you are being pressed then just come out and say that you are on a strict budget and donations at this time is not in the budget. If someone keeps pressing you then remember they are the ones being rude, not you.
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