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
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!
Ask the (Flash) Therapist
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
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!