Do You Know How To Say No?
Do You Know How To Say No?

Did you know that you have the freedom to say no? It seems that the word “no” is almost taboo to say. We pile so many tasks on our plate and, when it’s out of hand, we agree to tackle another project. Now, we’re stuck under the stress and anxiety of what feels like one million tasks to complete. Does this sound familiar? Here’s our reminder that it’s perfectly fine to say no. Don’t forget – you need to consider your own physical and mental health. Sometimes these requests are just out of the question. Here are two polite ways to turn down a request and establish boundaries when you’re already on overload.

Say “no” when you aren’t too overwhelmed

Sometimes the office can be hectic. Throw that in with the stresses that await at home and poof! You feel like a crazed, little chicken running around without its head. A coworker is asking you to take on one more project. This would cause you to stay late and there’s no way you can stay that day. You’re already overwhelmed with your own work, but you feel bad telling them no. Take a deep breath and consider your options. If you’re doing this coworker a favor, tell them that you can’t that day. Then, follow up with the offer to help them when you have more time. It’s not that you’re refusing them help forever.

Tell this person you know someone else who can help

Don’t guarantee person A that person B can help them immediately. But if you know someone else who can help person A, it’s better to send them in that direction than to leave them without a solution. Just remember: while it takes courage to ask for help, it also take courage to think about yourself and do what’s best for you. There is only so much you can do for others before you start feeling the exhaustion. So, while you may not be able to take the time to help person A, you can turn them towards someone else who may be able to provide aid.

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Samantha Curreli
Samantha Curreli is a staff writer at Reach Out Recovery. Sam is also a graduate of Arcadia University's MFA in Creative Writing Program and a freelance journalist for New Jersey music magazine, The Aquarian Weekly. She has had multiple pieces of fiction published in literary magazines and short story anthologies.


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