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Practical Tips on Saying No


It is up to all of us to say no so that we don’t become resentful.  This must be done! And now for the tips…

Practical_Tips_on_saying_noPractical Tips on Saying No:

If it is a person from the school who is calling to ask you to volunteer for something, and you would like to say no…”Oh, So-and-so, thank you so much for calling.  I so appreciate you thinking of me.  Let me check my calendar and I’ll get back to you.”  This gives you some thinking room to determine whether or not you would like to accept or decline.  And then, when you call back, “ Well, I have checked my calendar, and I just won’t be able to help out then, but thank you so much for asking. Good bye.”

If it is a relative or friend who knows every single thing there is to know about your schedule, and calls a lot… 1) Don’t answer your phone.  Turn the ringer off. If (s)he complains, say “Oops, I didn’t realize I had the ringer off, and then I just got busy, and didn’t look at my phone until this evening. I’m sorry! (No, you’re not, but (s)he doesn’t need to know that.)

Or…2) If you answer your phone, talk for a little bit, and then say, “Well, I’m glad I got to check in with you.  I have got to get started on my work. I’ll catch up with you soon.  Have a great day.” (You won’t be catching up as soon as (s)he would like, but oh, well.) And while you are creating some distance for yourself from this person, remember there are people who will absolutely eat you alive if you let them.  There is not enough attention, time, understanding, compassion, or whatever in the world for them.  These people will be unhappy, because they want what they want, but they will live.  They will get over it, and it probably won’t take them two weeks to replace you with someone else who will answer the phone 15 times a day and listen to all their problems.

You could suddenly start acting flaky and “forgetting” to do things you don’t want to do anyway.  This signals people that you are no longer the “go-to” person for them.

You could announce to all your friends and family that you are pursuing some spiritual objectives, and to do that you will not be doing anything extra for 6 months.  You will not be able to talk on the phone until a certain time of day, and only for 15 minutes. Ask them to please pray for you during this time.  They will most likely not understand you, but who cares. The added advantage of unplugging for a specific period of time is it may help you figure out what you want when you re-enter society.

You could pretend you are an artist or some other free spirit a la Guido Sarducci…”Hey, I’m an artist.  I don’ta feel likea talking to you right now.”

You could pretend you are the Queen of England.  You are so very kind and gracious, but after all these poor people are peasants and don’t know any better.  You will do exactly as you please. But you will smile and be charming the whole time.

As you can see, you can be just delightful the whole time you are saying no.  And if you encounter a particularly boorish specimen who absolutely will not get the picture, just say “no” a la Nancy Reagan.

I’m proud of you.  You are getting good at this.