The Importance Of Saying No.


A cartoon of someone hugging themselves.

Sometimes we can forget that we need to put ourselves first (we’re all guilty of it from time to time). Our family, work & social commitments can fill up our schedules, and we forget to pencil in the time for ourselves, leaving us overworked, stressed and sometimes on route to burnout.


What is burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion that can also involve a sense of reduced accomplishment (not ideal!)

But burnouts are avoidable by consciously taking back time for yourself and choosing where you spend your time and energy – this isn’t selfish; it’s self-care. Now let’s get to the point - the importance of saying “no”. We often feel obligated to agree to events, appointments, and social gatherings, but we don’t need to. If we’re overstretched, overworked, or don’t feel like it – we don’t have to do anything.


How do we say no?

Now it’s easier said than done, as when we say no, it can come with a dreaded sense of guilt like we’ve let someone down. Honestly, we tend to overestimate the adverse reactions other people can have to us saying no – some people are grateful for our honesty!

That awful feeling of guilt can be complicated to deal with, so how can we get comfortable with it? Accepting it (it’s hard, we know!) but sitting and acknowledging the feeling can help us let it go and move on.

And those who do give us adverse reactions? Do they respect our boundaries? Is that the kind of person worth our time and energy?


How should we word it?

Just saying NO can sound a bit harsh; here are some other ideas:

· “That sounds great, but I’m afraid I’m busy.”

· “I’m not able to take anything else on right now.”

· “That sounds like a great opportunity, but I’ll have to pass this time.”

· “Thank you for thinking of me, but not this time.”

· “That doesn’t fit my schedule.”

· “I won’t be able to help this time.”


It’s important to remember that setting boundaries and respecting your own time is a form of self-care and isn’t selfish; if we need to take a step back and take the time to rest and recharge, that is perfectly fine!



References:

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/why-is-saying-no-so-important-1110165#:~:text=It's%20important%20to%20be%20able,they%20can%20expect%20from%20you.

https://www.liveyourtruestory.com/the-importance-of-saying-no-performance/