It’s Day 6 of our Self-Care Challenge. Are things stacking up a little bit? Are you looking ahead to the future and feeling a bit of dread? Who put you in this mess? Have a talk with them!
Oh wait, was it you? Did someone ask you to do bring a side to the office party and you said you’d bring your signature Christmas fudge that takes six hours standing at the stove to make? Why did you do that?
You did that because it’s easier in the short term to say yes than to say no. Saying no is uncomfortable and feels like it requires an explanation. But here’s a secret. It doesn’t. In fact, offering an explanation when you say gives your petitioner an opportunity to try to overcome your reasons for saying no. You want to say no and cut the conversation short without destroying the relationship.
So here’s what you do. Start with the gratitude. “Oh, thanks for thinking of me!” Throw in the no. “But I can’t help you move this weekend.” End with resources (“You can hire movers cheaply on the corner for $10 an hour.) or moral support (“I’m sure you can handle the move all by yourself. I believe in you!) or, my personal favorite, throw someone else under the bus (“I bet Fred can do it.”) I’m throwing in silly examples, but you take my point, a quick one sentence that takes the focus off of you and why you can’t help and puts the focus back on your requester and, hopefully, sends them on their way to ask Fred what he’s doing this weekend.
So, go out there today and say no! Poor Fred — he doesn’t know what’s about to hit him.
This is part of my 31 Days of Holiday Self-Care Challenge. To see all the posts in this series, visit here.