When did we lose our ability to say no? We need to get it back. Quick like. I'll admit, I'd lost mine for a while there. I gained it back recently, in spades, while going through a life-changing year. I like to think the number of requests won't lessen and also that saying no will allow someone else to say yes. Maybe? Hopefully. I'm also pretty sure that saying no ties in directly to defining your values and knowing what you want your story to be. I defined what I value recently, here's an excerpt:
Calm — good sleep, regular yoga, drama-free relationships, being organized, managing “noise”
Tradition — making things from scratch from my Grandmother’s recipes, carrying on special family practices, recalling my parents’ values and deciding which ones I would carry on
Honesty — honoring commitments, being on time, being kind & clear in difficult situations, clearly stating my needs
Happiness — simple, brilliant, child-like happiness: music, finding beauty, dancing (I love to dance), laughing, being curious, helping people succeed
Stability — well-managed finances, routines, stocked cupboards, feeling prepared, the basics
Community — solid and supportive friendships, working family relationships, donating time and funds selflessly to those who are struggling, spending money locally
Making a list like this helps you say no because you know what to say yes to. It might be hard at first, so take a little time, make sure you feel comfy there. Learn how to do it gently. Stop, wait, take a moment if you need to, get back to the person. Also: reject the idea that you need a lengthy explanation. Be as brief as possible. Have you ever sat through a lengthy explanation; a break up talk; someone clearly lying? It's the WORST. Let's not do that anymore, okay? It's amazing how, over time, you'll see a decrease in requests for things you don't want to do. It's because you've shown people what you're about, what you want in your life, and what you don't. Clear as a bell.
Here's the play-by-play:
1) Figure out what you want in your life story and say yes to it.
2) Say no to the other stuff. With brevity.
3) Have more time to do the things you want, more space in your brain, and heaps of happiness.
Simple, right? If something's not for you, say so. I give you permission. Now give it to yourself.