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We are coming to that time of the year that is both blessed and cursed with zillions of invitations. Here are some that are in my right now: Can you meet me for coffee to help me with my book proposal? Will you bring a snack to the 8th grade party on December 19th?
Are you coming to our housewarming party? When I take on everything that comes my way, I find that I start staying up late in order to get everything done. And then, tired, I start pressing snooze instead of meditating in the morning. Perhaps this is obvious, but just to spell it out: When we get sick and tired, we have a hard time feeling happy, and a hard time fulfilling our potential, both at home and at work. Giving no that good takes practice. Here is my three-step plan. It is much easier to say no to an invitation when we have a concrete reason for doing so—a way to justify our refusal beyond the vague notion that we should avoid the commitment in question.
Similarly, I only meet people during the workday for lunch or coffee two times per week, I only do two speaking engagements a month, and I only do one phone interview a day.
This means that a lot of time on my calendar is blocked out, which can be really annoying to people who are trying to make an appointment with me. This makes it much easier to give good no.
Or will I feel dread or regret when this particular event or task rolls around? So fun. Will you ask me again then? Send me some more dates. Will you call me right before you go again? Let me recommend someone who may be able to help you. It was a week of visits to the ER, the concussion clinic, specialists, etc. I decided to just tell people what was going on, which sort of shut down the requests for a bit. If this post resonates with you, check out Dr. Carter's new stress reduction tele-seminar. She'll be ed by James Baraz and others to discuss how to be productive, well-rested, and happy--even during the busy holiday season.
Plenty of research suggests that when we make a decision in a way that allows us to change our minds later, we tend to be a lot less happy with the decisions that we make. So once we decline an invitation, we need to make an effort to focus on the good that will come from saying no, not the regret or guilt we feel about turning down an offer. Maybe saying no to one thing frees up time for another more joyful activity. Whatever the case may be, focus on the positive outcome of your effort to give good no.
Because that is what all this saying no is really about: Allowing ourselves to really enjoy what we are doing in the moment, whatever that might be. Christine Carter, Ph. Find out more about Christine here. Become a subscribing member today. Scroll To Top We are coming to that time of the year that is both blessed and cursed with zillions of invitations. Get the science of a meaningful life delivered to your inbox.
About the Author.
Christine Carter Christine Carter, Ph. By Robert M. This article — and everything on this site — is funded by readers like you. Give Now.Looking to please in many ways
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