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The Subtle Art of declining

How to Say "No" to Over-Commitment



Do Less!


I know your post-Jewish holidays to-do list is long. Your kids (and you!) are still struggling to get back into routine. Work has piled up over the vacation. And the laundry pile , dear god, the laundry pile!



And then your mother-in-law asks to come over with a distant relative for a meal. Or a friend asks you to attend an event she is hosting. Your community asks you to volunteer for something.


ADHD and People Pleasing

Women with ADHD are notorious people pleasers. They impulsively "say yes and hope to figure out the how later". They misjudge how long things will take. They have the best intentions when they want to do all the things. And it's exhausting.


But saying yes to something always means saying no to something else. And that something else may be a priority like a goal of yours, an opportunity to nurture a relationship or crucial things to thriving with ADHD, like sleep, good nutrition or restorative movement.


How to Gracefully Decline

  1. Use these magic words: Let me get back to you on that. Ask them to send you the details, so that you can check your calendar. When you are not face to face, it is easier to say no.

  2. Do check your calendar and then evaluate what you'll be saying no to if you say yes to this. Which of the 2 is a higher priority for you?

  3. Check in with your gut to see if this is something that YOU really want to do:

  4. Are you saying yes to make the other person happy?

    1. Are you saying yes because you are afraid that the other person may become angry or insulted?

    2. Are you saying yes because this feels Important and right to YOU?

    3. Are you saying yes because it is important to the other person, and that person is important to you?

  5. Say no graciously. This means expressing appreciation and thanks for the offer, invitation or opportunity. And then watch your but! You don't have to continue with the word "but". Just keep going with something like, "Unfortunately I..."

  6. Explain (if you want to), but don't overexplain. You don't have to go into details or justify. Or you could just say you already have plans.

  7. Remember that you do not need to please everyone. In fact, you can't!

Finally, remember that saying no gets easier the more you do it. Especially if you focus on what you are saying yes to by saying that no. The more you act outside of your comfort zone, the bigger that zone grows.

So what are you going to say no to? Comment to let me know.

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