Guilt Free No’s for the Holidays

by | Dec 1, 2013 | Balance | 1 comment

no thank you title written with  chalk on blackboard

© flytoskyft11 –

OK let's talk about the Holidays.  No matter what time of year you get this email - there are going to be Holidays and people who want you to be there or are coming to YOUR house.  So how do you assertively take control and let people know YOUR wishes?  Strong communication skills is the key.

1.     Holidays.   You’re feeling stressed because someone has suggested that dinner be at YOUR place.  This is something that you really don’t want.  You don’t have the time to clean up, or feed everyone, play hotel, or for whatever reason, it isn’t a fit for you.  How do you get out of this assertively without sounding selfish?

Suggested responses:

 “I appreciate you thinking of me but no that won’t work for me and my family.  Let me think about some other creative ideas and get back with you within the week.”  or

 “No thank you, I’m not prepared to do that this year.  Next year I will commit to that.” or

“No, but I WILL take the Easter Holiday.  We can all meet at a restaurant for dinner and then goto my house for the Easter Egg Hunt and dessert.”

 2.     Parents.  I’m part of the sandwich generation.  Whenever I say that, those who are NOT members think I’m talking about eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner because I’m so busy.  No, it means there are millions of us who take care of our small children but are also responsible either financially or physically for our older, sicker parents.  So now our free time is divided into one more slice of life’s pie.

I know many of you are self-employed like myself, or you work out of your homes and there is a mentality by our friends that we “really” must not be working.  So we get called in the middle of the day or the middle of the week to stop and do “favors” like grocery shop, drive to doctor appointments, or come to visit.  And guilt has worked on us as children so it’s a natural place we go when we say “no.”  But you have a right to have a life, a career, a family, so comfortably step up to say “no.”

Possible responses:

 “No, I can’t come today.  But I can come Wednesday or Friday for 2 hours.” or

 “No, I’m in the middle of a project.  What I can do is help research what services are available to help us get this done.” or

 Be proactive and determine what time you can give to your parents.  Mine live an hour’s drive away so I plan to do other things in that same town when I go once a week to take care of my Mother.  My week is better organized when I write in FDD – “family development day” and know eachTuesday I’ll be using my time effectively.  There are lots of things you can do with that one hour drive time, but that’s another tip later.

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