HOLDING GROUND & STAYING CLOSE TO FAMILY
Your mother asks for you to get her a replacement phone from a phone carrier. Your sister asks you to “edit” her essay for college, knowing that her asking a few minutes of your time really meant hours. Your younger brother hit his vehicle and ask for a $20 to get the car fixed. Long story short, nothing screams out unsettling as turning down people close to you for any requests and you don’t want let anyone down. However, saying yes to these requests all the time can be more harm than good, especially the time and money spent. Sometimes, these requests do become recurring as they ask the same favor countless times. You will get hit with the lingering guilt trips and gaslighting and you feel trapped to everyone requests.
We have to break the news to you, you need to say no and stand your ground when it comes to your time as your close ones mastered methods of getting access to your time to help save theirs. In the long run, consistent yes and comprising your time often is as damaging as you simply saying no. So how does one say no to family while staying close? As a creative, athlete and go-getter, my projects demand a lot from me, but at the same time, I also do find it extremely difficult to balance taking care of the requests of family and friends and my needs, especially if my help gets them to where they need to go at my expense. I may be human, but I have to be realistic. Here are some tactics and phrases that worked for me:
- The phrase “I’ll get back to you”. Sometimes being put on the spot is uncomfortable. With this quote, not only I regain control over my time, but buys me enough time to think about the response. Be sure to follow up, even you were going to say no anyway.
- Be firm with your tone of voice. You have to let people know that you can not be of a service when you have other obligations to fulfill. No is no and sometimes people won’t take it seriously until you do!
- Avoid long stories to explain the decision. I admit, when I feel the need to give out my reasonings, it often leads to arguments. You are better off simply saying no without explanation. Not to mention, you have a right to also say “I can’t go into detail”
- Propose something else. It does not hurt to delegate help to other people if you can’t personally do it. Not to mention, you feel the relief of releasing workload.
- Be honest with yourself and assess the situation. At the end of the day, you are a human being and you can’t be a hero 24/7 a week, despite how people assume you are. Being frank with yourself especially makes a huge difference. Your friends and family can appreciate you more as you venture to do the best.
The power of saying no is quite powerful. Take back your time allow those who appreciate your stay and the rest leave.