One reason people often feel overwhelmed at home and at work is their inability to say no. Another reason is the toxic people we haven't quite let go of.
We're taught to say yes – in theory
Part of this is well-planned-out socialization that is designed to create amazing worker bees in society, but in reality, all this does is cause people to do more than they need to and become overwhelmed with life. You really can (and probably should) say no more than you do.
First, ask yourself three questions:
1. Does it align with my values?
2. Do I really have the time?
3. Do I really want to do it?
If any of these questions is no, then you should simply say no. It doesn’t have to be no on all three counts. It can just be no because you don’t want to say yes. However, often, there are other reasons.
No Reason Needed
You don’t have to give any reason at all. You can just say no. No is a full and complete sentence by itself. If you do want to give a reason, then you can, but it’s not necessary to do it. Here are a few “no sentences” that you can use if you want to.
> “Oh, thank you for asking, but there is no way I can make it work right now.”
> “I’m sorry, but I can't do that because it goes against my religious world view, but thanks for asking.”
> “Thank you for asking, but I am not the right person for this job. Have you thought of asking Laura, this is really in her wheelhouse?”
> “Not right now. I already have priorities scheduled for that day and time. Thank you.”
> “I can’t do that, but if you can do this, then I can do it this way at this time.”
Practice saying these sentences and add some of your own that you can use. You probably already have some experience with being asked to do things. You may have said yes when you wish you said no. Practice saying no for the next time.
Let Go of Guilt
Remember that your upbringing may have caused you to feel bad when you say no. It’s just natural because when you were two every time you tried to touch that pretty vase, Momma said “NO!” and you may associate no with something terrible. It happens to all of us.
However, like Momma had to say no to you for a good reason, you can say no to anyone about anything without feeling guilty.
If you say no in a respectful way, there is never a reason to feel bad about it. You must protect your time because it’s precious. Do things you really believe in, that you have time for doing, and that you really want to do.
Just like saying no simplifies things, as you assess your life, you may find that you also have toxic people in your life that you need to let go of. Toxic people tend to create tons of drama in their lives and those who associate with them. Or they will be the ones who will have something negative to say about each choice you make in life and business.
Less drama in your life is always a good thing.
Give Yourself Permission to Say Goodbye
When you realize someone is toxic and causing unnecessary drama or issues in your life, you need to give yourself permission to say goodbye to them.
You are not obliged to stay in a relationship that is only painful, whether blood or not. There are no prizes at the end of life for doing so.
Reduce or Eliminate Contact
The moment you accept in your mind that the person is toxic, try to reduce or eliminate your contact with them. For some people, this is as far as you’re going to get to go if they are someone you must see, such as a co-worker or boss.
For others, this is the start of getting them out of your life.
Don’t Ask for or Give an Apology
There is likely no real reason to discuss anything with the person. Doing so often doesn’t solve a problem, and they’re not going to say they’re sorry unless they feel they can manipulate you.
You’ve had enough experience with the person to realize that you don’t need this type of closure. It’s not happening anyway.
Put More Time in Your Healthy Relationships
Now that you have some time freed up, not just in reality but in also your mind space, start putting more time into your healthy relationships. Think more about them, do something for them, and let them do something for you.
Experience Your Emotions but Move On
It’s okay to feel sad, and even bitter for a little bit. Let yourself feel the emotions, but it’s important to move on from the past. The entire point of eliminating a person from your life who is toxic is not to let them take up any space in your life that will affect future actions, including in your mind.
Learn from the Experience
One thing that is important to do if you face this issue is to figure out how the person got into your life to start with. If it’s work or a relative, that’s understandable, but if you picked this person as your friend (or spouse) – why? And how can you avoid doing that in the future?
Even if the toxic person is your parent or a relative, the experience of letting go of them will be a blessing in your life more than you may think. When someone is genuinely toxic, they won’t change no matter how much you beg, so letting them go will help you make your life less stressful and a lot more successful.