When Saying “No” is Necessary
We are all people pleasers in varying degrees.
Wanting to be kind and helpful are admirable traits.
Sometimes we are supportive and caring when it’s not our favorite activity because a friend or family member needs us in a crisis.
I will always remember the dear friends who helped me manage the 20 little boys at my son’s 9th birthday party after I spent all night in the hospital with my very sick husband. My friends weren’t having any more fun than I was, but they jumped in at my time of need.
But what about those times when there’s no urgency?
When no one is sick, dying, stuck in traffic, hurt, unemployed or has their job on the line?
When an event is not a once-in-a-lifetime gathering such as a wedding, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, graduation, Christening or funeral?
You can say no. Without apology.
You have a right to own your time and energy, two key elements of life that are finite. Managing your time and energy well underlies your happiness, fulfillment and health.
Here are some practice lines:
“I’m sure your Super Bowl party will be fun but it’s just not my thing.“
“I am an advocate of pro bono work but I need to pass on this one.”
“I can’t do lunch this week but let’s have a quick phone chat.”
You’re the only one who can take good care of you.
Budget your time and energy as wisely as you do your money.
Be generous but don’t go into debt.