Why Can’t Some People Say No?

Why do some people find it so hard to say “no”?  With our lives all spiralling out of control with the amount of stress we take on each day, one of the simplest ways to lower our stress levels is to learn to say, “no”.

Some people are scared of saying “no” for fear of giving offense or of being seen as rude and unhelpful.  And certainly, when said in the wrong tone, saying “no” can be both rude and offensive of course.  However, when said firmly, politely and couched in appropriate explanations, it is one of the most empowering and liberating words in the English language.  And it can also help to lower your stress levels – something we all need in these stressful times.

But how do you say “no” when someone needs your help? It can be tough when you know that there is no-one else who can readily help and you may feel emotionally blackmailed to help out.  In this situation, you need to be firm and explain politely why you cannot help.  be considerate and offer alternatives if you can.  Maybe you could assist in a different way which would not take up quite so much of your time?  Or maybe you know of someone else who could help instead?  Either way, you need to be true to yourself if you don’t want to end up frustrated and tense, especially if saying “yes” ultimately means that you would miss out on something else that you did want to do.

Of course if you find it particularly difficult to say no, it could be because you lack the necessary self confidence. Low self esteem can force people to say “yes” when they really want to say “no” because doing what other people want them to do makes them feel loved, wanted, even important.  But they are mistaken.  People like this are taken for granted, undervalued and used.  Eventually they realise this (even if they do not acknowledge it to themselves) and their self esteem plummets further.  They become desperate for attention and say “yes” to anything anyone asks of them, and the whole cycle starts again.  They are scared that if they say no, that no-one will notice them anymore.

However, constantly doing someone else’s bidding in this way and ignoring our own wants and needs (and the wants and needs of your self esteem) is a sure way to pile on the stress.  And if saying “yes” means that you feel a knot tightening in your stomach, then you should say “no” even if you think it will make you unpopular.

However, if you really cannot say “no”, then don’t beat yourself up about it.  Decide to do the task in good humor.  Apply  yourself.  Be diligent and enthusiastic. If you do this, time will fly and you will feel less stressed.  And who knows, you might even enjoy yourself!

Be assertive.  Learn to say “no” when you need to and notice how your stress levels fall.

What tricks do you use to help you say “no”?

Why Christmas Will Be Stress Free This Year

It’s that time of year again and I cannot believe how quickly the year has flown by.  I like to buy myself a week-to-view diary/journal and take time to write the important dates in it, transferring them carefully from my old diary.  It’s not hi-tech, not the most efficient use of time and there are certainly more reliable ways of doing it in this digital age.  But I like it because it allows me to gather my thoughts, revisit the old year and realize just how much I accomplished during that time… and how much I never got around to! 

Christmas is also a very poignant time for me because it was at Christmas time ten years ago that my mother suddenly died.  She had early onset Alzheimer’s and was only 71.  It was a shock and – to some extent – a relief when she passed on as the illness had long stolen away the person who was my mother.  I have still not got over losing her even though I did not see her very much (I live 300 miles away) and could not phone her at all in the latter stages because her illness meant she got confused easily and readily distracted.  I still miss her.

And I have a Christmas cold – again.  It comes from the stress of the season.  I get one most years, except for the first Christmas with the boys when the whole family fell ill with projectile vomiting.  Now that was a memorable Christmas!  Not.  Sadly we had the in-laws over from Spain so we went through with the whole festive thing and felt terrible.  I think it was only the in-laws who ate the meal.  Had we been on our own we would have postponed the celebrations until we felt well! 

We’re off to see Father Christmas tomorrow.  It’s probably going to be the last year we can before the magic is broken.  The boys will make toys with the elves and ice something unhealthy with Mrs Claus, visit the reindeer and then we’ll go ice skating.  It should be great!  Just hope it doesn’t snow for real – the UK being unable to handle anything but the most mediocre of weather, more than 20 flakes will probably shut the M25!

Not that I’d mind if it did this year, because I’m ready.  Decorations done, cards written, presents bought – and wrapped, itinerary planned, family invited… and other half doing the food.  Feels great!  Definitely the way to a stress free Christmas!