By Natasha Lindor | @natashalindor
If you’re swimming in invites these days, you aren’t alone.
This time of year through the end of the summer usually means an increase in social invites and planning: baby showers, wedding showers, weddings, summer vacations, festivals and long weekend trips … on top of all the “regular” stuff on your plate like going to work, eating, working out, laundry and being there for loved ones.
No matter how ambitious you are, there are still 24 hours in any one day. BUT you always have a choice in how you feel during those hours.
How you spend your 24 hours is the difference between:
- how happy and unhappy you are
- how relaxed and stressed you are
- embracing life and just getting through each day
Want to be happier and more relaxed even though you’re swimming in a sea of invites? This month’s Enjoy Your #SocialLife Challenge will be the life jacket that helps you do just that.
There will never be a shortage of opportunities, things to do and people with demands on your time. That’s why it’s essential to master how to say ‘no’.
The first step to a mindful and respectful ‘no’ is to separate the request from the relationship.
Requests from a boss, colleague or loved one often seem so connected to your relationship that it feels like you have no choice but to say yes. Otherwise, it will seem like you don’t care about the other person.
So in an effort to be helpful and avoid conflict, you say yes to things:
- You don’t want to do
- You will later regret
- Both A and B
What Happens When You Separate the Request From the Relationship and Say ‘No’
You improve your relationship with the other person
When you agree to do something you can’t follow through on, you end up disappointing the other person.
If you say no at the beginning, you allow them to find someone else who has the time and bandwidth.
You empower other people
Just because it’s not a fit for you doesn’t mean it isn’t a fit for someone else. As my mom always says, “Different strokes for different folks.”
When you agree to do something that you know isn’t a fit, you take the opportunity away from someone who would consider the opportunity.
You create more time for what’s most important to you
When you only say yes to things that align with what is most important to you and you can follow through on, guess what happens?
Your life is filled with people, experiences and situations that fuel you.
You respect yourself and what’s important to you
Would you knowingly add stress to someone you respect? The more you say yes to EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE, the more stress you experience.
Show yourself some respect and be more selective about what you say yes to. When you feel respected by the most important person to your happiness and success (YOU!), you end up having more energy, focus and creativity to enjoy your life a little more.
You teach others to respect you
You teach others how to treat you. If you say yes to EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE, you become a doormat who always says yes.
If you’re careful about what you say yes to and look to create win-win situations, you become a valuable and respected partner.
You take back control of your own decisions
When you take the time to say no mindfully and respectfully instead of being rushed into saying yes every time you’re asked to do something, you make decisions that reflect what you say you want.
Separating the request from the relationship allows you to:
- Make a clear decision that works best for everyone involved
- Frees you from the wasted time and energy of feeling guilty if you say no, and
- Stops you from kicking yourself if you say yes to something that gets more complicated and you didn’t want to do in the first place.
Enjoy Your #SocialLife Challenge
The next someone asks you to do something you don’t want to, separate the request from the relationship by respectfully and mindfully say ‘No’.
Remember: You always have a choice. You don’t have to drown in the sea of invites.
You can choose to do something now to take control and have more time for the people, experiences and situations that fuel you.
It starts with separating the request from the relationship so you can say ‘No’ mindfully and respectfully one time this week.
So what’ll it be? Will you say ‘No’ to going to lunch with the co-worker who complains all day? An invitation from a friend? A perceived family obligation?
I believe in you and your happiness. You can do this, and I’m here to help you make this year and beyond your best years yet — without compromising your success and what matters most.
Learning how to separate the request from the relationship is one of the five secrets to having more time for what’s most important. If you feel like you’re too busy to enjoy your life, click here to get four more secrets to have more time for you.