Just Say No


Many of us tend to be people pleasers so when someone asks us for some kind of help we tend to say yes right away. This leads to taking on too much, giving till it hurts and then being overwhelmed.

Family, friends, acquaintances, employers, colleagues and complete strangers request things all the time. They may want our time, our money, our stuff, a favor, our attention or our energy.

It took me a while but I’m happy to say when someone makes a request of me my personal default is to do what Nancy Reagan suggested and just say no. I can always change my mind and saying no gives me space to think about what I want to do, and decide what I have the time and resources for.

Saying no isn’t mean, it’s self protective. You only have the time energy and assets that you have. If you have a hard time with saying no, you are not alone, but it is a skill that can be learned with practice.

There are a couple of ways to practice saying no. One way is to stand in front of a mirror and just say the word no. Another way is to buddy up with a friend and have them ask you for things or favors and come up with ways to say no.

Here are a few requests that you might practice saying no to:

Can I borrow a thousand dollars? No.
Can I borrow your car? No.
Can I move in with you? No.
Can we have the party at your house? No.

You can say no nicely but remember to be firm. Some people, especially kids, can’t take no for an answer so you may have to keep saying it because they will try their best to wear you down.

Here are some alternatives ways of saying no.

 “I’ll want to think about that.”

“I’ll need to check my schedule.”

“I have to check with my partner.”

“This is may not a good time for me.”

 The good news is the more you practice saying “no” the easier it becomes.

Kathy Sussell is an ADHD coach in Brooklyn, NY. She helps teens, college students and adults with ADHD with time management, planning and prioritizing, getting started with and finishing tasks, organizing paper and objects and improving social skills. She is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in downtown Brooklyn. For more information visit her website: www.bravolifecoaching.com or email Kathy at kathy@bravolifecoaching.com

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