Saying “no” to a request is understandably difficult. Professionally or personally, we either want to help, accommodate a friend, or fear we may upset someone we care about. That’s why we can be inclined to say yes to those we’re close to.
If your schedule is already filled with work, deadlines, and chores, you may be doing yourself more harm the more you agree to requests. If you are overstretched with different demands, you’ll get exhausted. Even worse, you won’t be able to perform your best at everything.
Being open and helpful is generally a good thing. We feel more satisfied with ourselves and build bonds this way, but this shouldn’t come at the cost of our own well-being. How do we know when to say no then?
These 4 signs may tell us that we need to start saying “no” more often.
You feel exhausted, overworked or burnt out
Exhaustion is so common in our world due to the hustle mentality we’ve been ingrained with. Make sure you aren’t stretching your energy too thin as burnout can take a serious toll on your health, with it making you more vulnerable to health risks like mood disorders, intestinal issues, and heart problems.
If your physical or emotional health is starting to deteriorate because of all the things you’ve promised people to do, hit the brakes. It’s worth feeling a little fleeting guilt for saying no rather than impacting your overall wellbeing.
You lack time, energy, or money for things that matter the most
Draining resources add extra stress to your life, resulting in feeling angry and resentful towards the people you love who have asked you for a favor. Consider how much time, energy, and money you need for yourself and strongly protect that. You’re not being selfish, remember, you can’t help others if you don’t have what you need yourself.
Your quality of work is starting to deteriorate
Did I reply to her email? What do I have to plan for this weekend’s fundraiser? What time do I need to drop off that item I promised someone? When your head is filled with a never-ending to-do list, it’s hard to concentrate on the job at hand. Saying no can keep this list smaller and more manageable and make you more effective at the tasks you have.
Giving away your valuable time to too many activities can take away your enjoyment from life. When you have no free time, even the things you used to love can seem mundane and everything can feel like a chore.
When you start feeling overcommitted, sometimes you need to take a step back and say no from time to time. You will feel less stressed and feel a greater sense of control over your life.