In a society where we're consistently competing against one another, many of us are overachievers. There always seems to be so much that captures my interest, and it feels like every week, my to-do list gets longer and longer.
It's in my nature to say yes to everything, even when I really want to say no. The problem with this is, I end up feeling overwhelmed and forgetful.
So, I stress myself out. Sometimes, the to-do list and commitments get so much, all I want to do is just quit everything and curl up in bed with Netflix.
It has taken a while, but I've realized you don't have to say yes to everything, especially if you don't want to. It is not disrespectful to say no.
Don't let others' opinions prevent you from saying what you really want to do. Yes, there are situations where you feel obligated, so you probably should say yes (even if you don't want to) to work, family responsibilities and whenever mom calls.
However, if it is not necessary and you can get out of it, do it. While you may want to say yes to everything, you need to remember that sometimes, you have to say no.
Life is too short to be stressed out and too committed. It is great to be involved outside of your school and work responsibilities and volunteer, have a social life and get involved with extracurricular activities.
There has to be limit, though. You don't want to wake up 10 years from now and realize you're not happy, stuck in a routine you can't change.
The truth is, most times when you overcommit, you feel too stressed. You just want to quit everything.
This results in either not putting forth your full potential or flaking on many people. It's better to have a few people praise your commitment than have many people say you were a “decent person to work with.” You may not have as many things to put on your resume or as many plans, but you will be more at ease and way happier.
I'm sure you can do it all, but do you have to? Make time for yourself and be selfish once in a while. If you still feel compelled to say yes, but really want to say no, here are five excuses you can use:
1. “I'm so sorry. I already have plans.”
If you know you're busy and really don't want to, but for some reason, you feel compelled to say yes, remember to not get trapped. Technically, lying in bed, watching Netflix and binging on ice cream is a plan, so this is only a teeny lie.
2. “I wish I could, but I'm so swamped at work.”
This is the perfect excuse, especially when it's said to distant friends or relatives. They don't truly know your schedule, so they won't question you.
If you are truly interested, be sure to include, “I'll let you know when my schedule is less hectic, though.” Just be careful and don't post Snapchats claiming you're "so bored."
3. “I can't. I have family responsibilities.”
This is foolproof. Everyone knows how hard it is say no to family.
I'm 22 years old, and somehow, I always get pulled into family situations. Everyone gets it, so no one will argue with you about it.
If you're trying to get out of family situations, simply say, “I can't, I'm busy with school, work or friends." They'll pester you, but they'll understand.
4. “I really want to, but I honestly don't have time.”
Honesty is the best policy. You may not really want to, but at least you seem interested.
If they try to convince you, just overexaggerate and go into the tiny details of your life. At the end of the conversation, they'll probably feel bad for you and will never ask you to do anything else.
5. “Sorry, but no.”
This is simple and to the point. Sure, people may think you're a bitch.
But if you're not interested and don't have time, then bye.
Don't feel bad about it. You apologized (even though you didn't need to), and you didn't give them false hope.
Sometimes, being busy is inevitable. Life moves fast, and it can get so easy to get swept up in everything.
Remember that saying no is okay. Your health and happiness are far more important.