If you have difficulty saying no when asked to commit your time or energy, try practicing a simple script, such as "No, thank you. I'm flattered by your request and really wish I could, but I like to do a great job when I participate, and the current demands on my time would make this next to impossible. If I know of anyone who might be interested, I'll refer him or her to you." Try reciting this in front of a mirror or with a friend. Here are some steps for setting boundaries that allow you to control your life and how you spend your time:
1. Pay attention to your physical and emotional reactions. If you feel suffocated, overwhelmed, angry, or resentful at a request for your time, pay attention to that. That's your sign to consider saying no.
2. When you need to set a boundary with someone, state your position firmly and calmly, without anger, and use confident body language (stand up straight, face the person squarely, and look him or her in the eye as you speak).
3. After you have set a boundary, support that boundary by your actions. For example, if you tell your coworker that you can't take on a particular task, don't go back later and offer to do part of the task because you feel guilty at having said no. Stand by your own boundaries.
4. Realize that if you're unused to setting boundaries, you may feel frightened, ashamed, or guilty at first. This is normal, and you'll become more comfortable with boundary setting as you get more practice.
5. Having a supportive friend can be helpful when learning to set boundaries. If you feel comfortable doing so, engage a friend to be your "boundary-setting buddy" and act as a team in improving your boundary-setting skills.
If you have difficulty saying no when asked to commit your time or
energy, try practicing a simple script, such as "No, thank you. I'm
flattered by your request and really wish I could, but I like to do
a great job when I participate, and... More