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Published on September 29, 2020

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Setting Boundaries by Saying ‘No’

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of too many commitments? Or maybe you put your needs aside constantly to tend to others. Have you ever been called a people pleaser?

Learning how to say “no” not only serves you in the long run, but makes each decision in the future more meaningful to you.

Things to consider:

  1. For many it is easy to say “YES” in the moment, only to feel overwhelmed by that commitment a few weeks later. Consider how much time that task will take and don’t feel rushed to answer.
  2. Feeling guilty? Don’t use that as your sole reason to take on other projects. Often times taking on tasks out of guilt leads to resentment and poor performance.
  3. Think about where your passions lie. Does this new commitment align with how you want to spend your time? Is there another way you could contribute or offer suggestions?
  4. Don’t compare. It can be second nature to look around and wonder how another friend or co-worker can juggle 10 tasks without skipping a beat. Remember that just because that person has agreed to spend their time that way doesn’t mean you need to.
  5. Although it may be tempting to come up with an elaborate excuse, keep it honest and concise. Often giving people all the details of why you can’t be involved only gives them power to problem-solve those reasons away.
  6. Rehearse what you might say. It sounds cheesy, but trust me it works! Write down your response and ask a trusted friend or family member to review. This can bring ideas on how to word your response so the meaning comes across respectful but firm.

Saying “no” and setting healthy boundaries isn’t always easy, but can lead to less stress. Less stress means more time to pursue projects that you are truly passionate about. It also shows others that your time is valuable and that once you commit you want the work to be done well. Be patient with the process, and practice saying “no.”

By Jillian Bryan, LiveNOW Health Coach

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