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The art of saying "no": setting boundaries and prioritising your time and energy

05 May,2023 06:17 PM, by: Sushmita Dey
2 minute read Total views: 1207
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There was a time, I used to believe that rejecting someone's request could potentially cause them emotional distress. As a result, I often found myself going beyond my limits to help them, even if it left me feeling exhausted.Turns out, I had difficulty saying ‘no'.

Saying ‘No’ to others can be a really daunting experience for some people. It is especially true for those who feel obligated to maintain a pleasing personality, so much so that it can ends up robbing them of their convenience. However, keeping up with this behaviour can adversely affect a person’s life, as it tends to leave them almost always occupied with others’ requests,  whereas leaving them with little to no time for their own needs.

Thus, learning the art of saying"no" can be an important life skill to add on.

Many people struggle with the ‘No’ word, fearing that it will make them look unhelpful or uncooperative. But on the contrary, setting boundaries and prioritizing your time and energy is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and also saves you from burnout.

These tips can help you master the art of saying No and take back control of your life -

Identify your priorities: Before saying "yes" to any new request, take a moment to consider whether it aligns with your priorities. Ask yourself whether it will help you achieve your goals or add value to your life. If the answer is no, then it's probably best to say it out loud and focus on the things that matter most to you at the moment.

Be polite and respectful: When saying "no," it really helps if you are being polite and respectful about it. Start by thanking the person for considering you and expressing your appreciation for the opportunity. Then, politely decline the offer and explain your reasons why. Remember to be honest and transparent, but also assertive and confident in your decision.

Offer alternatives: If you're unable to say "yes,"but also find it uncomfortable to flat out decline an offer or a request, consider offering an alternative solution that could be beneficial to both parties. For example, you could suggest another person who might be better suited for the task or offer to help in a different way that aligns with your strength and time.

Practice saying "no": Saying "no" can be uncomfortable at first, but it's a skill that can be developed over time. Practice saying "no" in a respectful and assertive way, both in your personal and professional life. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Don't apologize for setting boundaries: It's important to remember that setting boundaries is not a negative thing. It's a healthy way to prioritize your time and energy and prevent burnout. Don't apologize for saying "no" or setting limits - instead, take pride in your ability to prioritize and take care of yourself.

As a bonus fact, know that in most cases, people do not really mind or stay hung up over getting a ‘No’ in response to their request, invitation or an offer. On the contrary, they perceive your time to be more valuable.

So, the next time you feel pressurised to say "yes" to something that doesn't align with your priorities, take a deep breath and say the two-lettered word with confidence. You might be surprised at how liberating it can feel.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Critical Script or its editor.

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