Ask Dr. Joy: Saying "no"

By WEEK Producer

April 19, 2012 Updated Apr 19, 2012 at 10:45 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The summer is a hectic time for most families. Many of us find summer a difficult time because we are focused on relaxation, but there seems to be so many demands: kids wanting to go here and there, reunions, weddings, and traveling.

These demands can keep us out of balance and the cause just might be partly ours because we don't know how to say "no".

Difficult aspects of creating a balance:
* Statistics show that one cause of imbalance is the inability to say "no" to rising demands.
* Demands create pressure to say "yes" and not listen to our own needs, wants or limitations.
* Inability to say "no" can create stress, depression, and an overload to our mental and physical well-being.

Why do people have a hard time saying "no"?:
* Many people are afraid they will lose friends if they say "no"
* People are afraid of conflict and it is easier to say "yes" and just suffer the consequences.
* People genuinely want to help others and feel guilty if they don't agree to assist others.
* Many of us have been told we "should' do things for others and put ourselves second.

Tips on how to say "no":
* Set your priorities: Know what is important to you and work around what works for you regarding time, budgets, and responsibilities.
* Say no versus vague terminology: Avoid words such as "maybe" or "I don't think so".
* Say no and keep it brief: Avoid long conversations or explanations of why you don't want to do something or why you can't do something.
* Be honest: Practice saying "this doesn't fit into my schedule" or "it's not a good time" or "I'm not able to do that".
* Remember, it's not selfish to say no: It is important to honor your needs, your wants, and maintain a balance of caring and giving that fits into your lifestyle.

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