At the time of writing, we’re in what many call “the season of giving.” Whether it’s a gift, a meal, or even just your time, it can seem like you’re always giving something away. During seasons like this, or even just from day-to-day, it can feel hard to tell people “no.” 

At home, at the office, or even just out running errands, telling people “no” can feel like a huge weight. After all, you don’t want to disappoint someone right? But the fact is, by constantly saying “yes” to every question, request, and opportunity, you’re actually disappointing the most important person in your life — yourself.

Recently, I’ve been exploring ideas about how you can limit the amount of stress you experience during the holidays. One way you can do that is to be more willing to say “no.” Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds. That’s why I’ve put together this quick walk-through for you.

Remember that Saying No Doesn’t Make You Selfish

It’s so easy to fall into the mental trap that telling others no makes you selfish. After all, it feels good to say yes and help others right? You’re not wrong, but you’re not entirely right either. 

In reality, saying no is an opportunity for you and whoever’s making a request of you to learn and grow. Think about it this way. When you were a kid, your parents likely told you that you couldn’t have chocolate before dinner. This is a rather simple example that demonstrates that sometimes “no” is in the best interest of those around you. In some situations, saying no isn’t an act of selfishness, it’s an act of selflessness.

We’re Told No All the Time

We so often get caught up in our own heads about telling someone no. We don’t want to appear selfish or rude, and we really don’t want someone to change their opinion of us based on our answer. In actuality, we’re told no by hundreds of people, things, and systems every day. No is a constant part of our lives. 

We’re told no by streetlights, bank accounts, salespeople, coworkers, and even ourselves so often that we’re often blinded to it. As such, people are more prepared to hear no more than we realize. In fact, we hear no so often that the majority of the time, we react with a simple “okay.” Telling someone no isn’t as devastating as we might think, and chances are, telling someone no really isn’t a big deal to them at all.

You’re Not Responsible For Their Reaction

While we’re used to hearing no, we’re not always used to telling others. That’s often because we are ready to bear the burden of their reaction. Fortunately, that’s not your responsibility either. Ultimately, it is up to the other person to process your response and their emotional reaction to it. While some might feel disappointed, it’s on them to figure out why and to take steps to address it.

You cannot protect someone from their own feelings and you really shouldn’t try to. If you continue to feel responsible for someone else’s reaction, you’re actually engaging in an unhealthy relationship in which the other party can pin their problems on you. 

Create a New Definition for Your Sense of Work-Life Balance

This holiday season, I encourage you to explore how you use no and what it makes you feel. You can try it in simple ways, declining an invitation to a party when you’re feeling busy, only setting up a few decorations instead of decking out the whole house, or even telling yourself no when you reach for that extra glass of spiked eggnog. 

Creating a sense of balance in your life is easier than you might realize, and I can help you find out how. Reach out to me today and find out more about my free masterclass!