Flash Therapist | Lyora Zadik | Newsletter # 1, How to 'No' Better


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August 14
Issue #1

How to "no" better

It seems easy enough, two little letters expressing a clear and simple answer. It is pretty easy to say "no" to a telemarketer, but it's a lot harder to say "no" when your boss asks you to work over the weekend or express to your mother why you don't want her to set up that blind date. Some of us remember the anti-drug campaigns in school where we were taught to "Just Say No!" but how many of us use it in our daily lives?

So how do you refuse in a manner that is acceptable, both to yourself and to the people most important to you?

5 things to consider before "Yes-ing" yourself out

1. You don't have to respond to a request right away. Let the person know you'll give them an answer the next day, and take the time to consider if you really have the time, energy and willingness to do what is asked.

2. Think about how this task would get done without you. Are you being asked because your contribution is truly unique and appreciated? Or is the person just looking for another body?

3. Always be honest with the person, and with yourself. Saying "yes" when you don't mean it can lead to resentment or strain in the relationship down the road. When you really can't (or just don't want) to do something, saying "no" politely may be the best thing for both of you.

4. Remember that your time and energy is a gift. Sometimes you want to give it to someone important; sometimes you need to enjoy it yourself.

5. Beware of "favor vampires!" Not the blood sucking kind, but the type of people that continually take, take, take from you. Say no politely and keep the garlic handy!


Lyora Zadik

Ask the (Flash) Therapist

Question:

I have a decent-paying job working at an office in the Financial District. Recently, at a bar, I ran into a friend from high school. She has started her own catering company, recently moved into a cute Victorian in Noe Valley and had a handsome beau on her arm. That was over two weeks ago and I have been in a negative space about my own life ever since. Am I crazy to be envious of her happiness?

Answer:

Running into an old friend can bring up a lot of feelings, both good and bad, that you haven't thought about for a long time. Suddenly, you remember a time when you were so "happy and carefree"—at least it seems that way now. A lot of times we idealize our past, projecting all of our hopes into past tense. However, the fact that you have been unhappy since this interaction might be an indication that there is some inner talent or dream you need to focus on. Try writing a list of the positive and negative aspects of your life, then and now. You might be reminded of something—a dream to start your own a business, to take a dance class, to take photos in Africa—that you have neglected for far too long. Meeting your friend by chance may have been the best thing in the world for you!

Got your own question?

Issue #1: How to 'No' better
Issue #2: Happiness Rating Scale
Issue #3: Four-Year-Old Teachings

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Lyora Zadik, MSW, GATC

Licensed Clinical Social Worker LCS#22849

Member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Northern California Art Therapy Association

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