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More Texans Need To Learn How To Say No

Oct 16, 2007
Everyone hates hearing it, but many individuals have problems saying it: the word "no". Just two letters -- one syllable, but it is one of the more difficult words for people to say to others. Sure, you do it for your peace of mind, but saying "no" may also be a healthier option for stress relief for those of you who live in Austin, Dallas, Houston and other places in Texas.

Come on! Grow a backbone. Be honest with yourself. Don't you have enough deadlines and obligations that you're trying to squeeze into your 10-hour workday? If you do, a little stress relief can be easy as saying no, no more, no mas, nada ... just say no.

There are thousands of ways to increase your level of stress. You can create more stressful situations in your life, if you don't start turning down requests.

- Saying no can be good for you. It's not a selfish act. In fact, it may be the most beneficial thing that you can do for your family and your other commitments. When you say no, you can spend more quality time on the things you've said yes to.
- Saying no allows you to try new things. Saying no will free up time to pursue other hobbies or interests.
- Yes isn't always the best answer. If you're under a lot of stress, you've got a much better chance of becoming sick or tired, which doesn't benefit you or anyone else.

It can be tough to determine the activities that deserve your time and attention. Use the following strategies to evaluate obligations -- and opportunities -- that come your way.

- Find yourself. By saying no, you can prioritize the things that are important to you. You'll gain time so you can commit to the things that you really want to do. Examine your current obligations and overall priorities before making any new commitments.
- Figure out the yes-to-stress ratio. Is the new activity that you're considering a short- or long-term commitment? If an activity is going to end up being another source of stress in your life -- especially for the long term -- take a pass.
- Kick guilt to the curb. If friends want to get together when you've already scheduled something else, it's okay to say no. Do what you've set out to do regardless of those feelings of guilt or obligation.
- Keep your current commitments in check. Expecting guests for dinner? Order out or have individuals bring a dish to share.
- Sleep on it. Take a day to think over a request and respond after you've been able weigh all your options.

Know how to say no. See? It's simple. It's one little word that will allow you to pass on the things that aren't a priority. Yet, not everything will be that black and white. Here are two other things to keep in mind when you need to say no:

- Full disclosure -- Don't lie to get out of an obligation. The truth is always better. If you can't fulfill the request, just say no to your friend, family member or co-worker.
- Let them down gently -- It can be tough to turn down some of the better offers. Complimenting an individual's or a group's effort while saying no at the same time helps soften the blow and keep you in good graces.

Saying no won't be easy if you typically say yes all the time. But no is an important word in making your life less stressful.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com
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