Saying no is hard. Really hard. Most of us wants to please everyone, be nice to everyone, be helpful and generous and giving.
Boss : Could you take on that project? Me : Of course. (Desire to show my boss I am great at my job and and can take on responsibilities : through the roof. Agenda : clogged)
Friend : Are you going out with us this Friday? Me : Of course. (Fear of missing out and disappointing my friend : high. Energy the next day : non existent.)
Sister : Would you babysit the whole day Sunday? Me : Of course. (Eagerness to be the best godmother : incalculable. Dedication to the task : 50%)
Other friend : Can you help me move next week? Me : Of course. (Aspiration to show that I am a good friend : huge. State of my back for the next month : Ruined.)
Overall happiness to do all that : medium.
Overall stress level to do all that : crazy.
Do you recognize yourself in this very fictional scenario? That’s what I thought…
Sometimes, we become overachievers when it comes to our loved ones, our friends and our career. We want to do everything, be everywhere, take on all the projects, leaving our calendars and our poor shoulders booked and heavy. Let’s face it, it is impossible to be there, all the time, for everyone and everything. Trying to do so is just depleting our energy reserves while keeping our stress buckets overflowing.
Saying yes all the time more than often leads to unfortunate and avoidable exhaustion. It leads to us feeling overwhelmed, our brain constantly spinning, thinking about the next thing on the agenda. How can we, then, dedicate our 100% to that amazing job of ours? Or that precious nephew? Or these dear friends? We cannot be fully and totally present and committed when our batteries are almost empty.
If we want to be the best employee, friend, sister, human being we possibly can, we need to relax, sometimes. Chill out. Sit back. And be unapologetically selfish. Yes, you heard (well, read) me. We need time for ourselves to recharge those dying batteries and remove a few pounds from our heavy shoulders, just in order to be the best us possible. And this is all ok. There is no shame in skipping a night out to read in a bubble bath and slip into lavender scented sheets at 9:30pm on a Friday!
How to do that, though? Just say NO. I know it is hard, but it has to be done, from time to time.
Here is a checklist of questions to ask yourself before responding to someone asking you to do something.
- Is this absolutely necessary?
- Do I have the time and energy for that?
- Can someone else replace me to do it?
- Will this bring more joy and happiness into my life?
There, you have your answer. And whether it is a yes or a no, embrace it and give it your 100%. Because you deserve it.
Do you also have trouble saying no? What are your tricks?
Find more antistress hacks right here!