Boundary Tip #1 – Just Say No

This is the toughest one yet the best place to start.  The good news is the tips should get easier from here. Many who find themselves saying “yes” before even being asked can feel an overwhelming sense of guilt when having to say no.  However; if you don’t become comfortable using this very small but significant word you can end up agreeing to help with or go to events that you not only don’t have time for but never wanted to attend in the first place!  Along with that you end up sacrificing time spent in activities you really wanted to do.

Guilt associated with saying “no” can lead to the creation of elaborate stories about why we cannot do what is being asked.  Usually by the time the story has concluded, not only does the other person know it’s a lie, but then having to keep track of what story was told to which person can  create even more stressed than if you had just said yes!

Regular life is difficult enough to keep straight without trying to keep track of stuff you made up.

There is help!

Tips “no” without telling a lie.

  •  Thanks for the invite, but…
      • With all of the things going on during the holidays, I’d prefer to connect in January so we can spend more time together and really catch up.  Then set a date to meet in January and keep it.
      • It’s such a hectic time of the year.  With so much time spent away from home, my husband and I have scheduled a few days every week to be at home with our family.  How does your January look?

Those are examples if you actually want to get together with the person who is inviting you.  If you really don’t want to get together with the person don’t keep leading them on.  Just leave out the last line that makes a follow-up date. It’s OK to just say thanks for the invite but I really just want to spend time with my family and leave it at that.

The following is an example of saying “no” without lying when asked to help with a program or event at your child’s school or at church.

  •  I’d love to help, but I really need to take some things off of my plate before I put more on, however I will be happy to help out with programs after the holidays.  Then make sure you follow-up after the first of the year and help out with an upcoming event when your schedule is a little less hectic.

Keep checking in because more tips are coming your way soon!

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About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked in the geriatric healthcare field for over 25 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes" (http://www.AlongComesGrandpa.com). As a Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and enthusiasm to assist corporations in finding solutions to work/life balance challenges and pro-actively educate and empower their employees.
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2 Responses to Boundary Tip #1 – Just Say No

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