Do you ever feel overwhelmed and exhausted from such a long to do list? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and exhausted from saying yes too often? Do have trouble saying no?
If so, you are not alone! Most people have trouble saying no to favors, invitations, and requests. We tend to say, “Yes” even when we want to say “No” just to avoid the uncomfortable feeling that we are letting people down. Dr. Christine Carter, author of Five Research-Based Ways to Say No, maintains that saying “yes” when we mean “no” is a recipe for feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Here are 5 practical tips to make saying no a little easier and a little less uncomfortable.
- Practice. Just as practice makes perfect for learning to play a sport, practice applies in the art of saying no. Start small to make things easier. You can practice by saying no when someone offers you dessert or someone tries to sell you something. If saying no is hard for you, start small and practice like you would when developing any skill. Develop some strategies for how you might say no graciously.
- Gather your courage. It is hard to say no when someone keeps insisting that you say yes. It will feel uncomfortable to say no and you might feel like you will miss out, but that is the trade-off to reclaim your life. Consider if the request aligns with your priorities and needs. Keep in mind that you are saying no to a request, not a person. Taking the personal aspect out of it, can give you courage to stand up for yourself.
- Be prepared to miss out. When saying no you inevitably will miss out on something. Realize that you are choosing something you value more and controlling how you want to use your time. It is not a missed opportunity if you are choosing something else rather it is a trade-off.
- Be clear. Don’t try to avoid the question. Be upfront and honest all while being clear and concise. Know what you value and acknowledge what you do not. Don’t say maybe if you know you don’t want to attend an event. It is better to say no from the start. Be clear that you want to say no.
- Keep your decision final. Dan Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist, found that when we change our initial decision we tend to be a lot less happy. Once you make a decision find the positives in it and stick with that choice.
“Saying yes when we want to say no tends to bite us later, in the form of resentment and exhaustion”
―Dr. Christine Carter
Image by Free Photos from Pixabay.
Alex Kelly is a senior at Harding University studying Family and Consumer Sciences. She is from Memphis, Tennessee. Some of her favorite things to do include cooking for friends and trail running.