The oldest, shortest words – “yes” and “no” are those that require the most thought. – Phythagoras
From the toy aisle to the dinner table, the holiday season is full of “no’s.” It’s important to be able to say no when it comes to things that you can’t do, do have time for or even don’t want to d at all. Unfortunately, expectations run high during the holiday season which makes saying no to friends, family, or even complete strangers very challenging. After all, everyone knows that Christmas is all about giving and thinking of others before ourselves. Don’t be afraid of coming across like a Grinch because its important to take care of your mental and physical health too. I’ve put together some tips to help you say no – even at Christmas time.
Even if you need to say no, you can still state your case in a positive way. If someone is asking you to organize a holiday party, bake or to set up decorations, try to highlight the benefits of doing things a different way rather than the negative aspects of their plan. You could suggest a girls day to tackle the tasks together. Like John Heywood said “many hands make light work.” You can also propose getting the kids involved in baking, decorating and meal prep.
People can often tell when you’re feeling unsure of yourself and this can make them less willing to take no for an answer. If you want people to take you seriously, it’s important that you project confidence and speak assertively. When you need to tell someone no, say it with clearly without wavering so they can see that you’re serious. This doesn’t mean that you need to be aggressive or rude. Just be firm and concise, and stand up for yourself.
Find a Better Solution
If you’re telling someone no about something but you don’t have an alternative to suggest, the person you’re talking to isn’t likely to come up with a new plan. Instead, they will probably try to find a way to make their initial suggestion seem more logical to you. While a compromise may be better in some situations, you’ll still end up doing something that you didn’t want to. Instead, try to come up with an alternative plan for the person to consider. They just may go along with it, and that way you can avoid their request without actually saying no.
Avoid an Argument
Any disagreement can turn into an argument at any moment, especially during the stress-filled holiday season. With tensions running so high, even the smallest issue can turn into a Christmas confrontation. If saying no causes an argument, ask if you can discuss the subject once things have calmed down. Arguing isn’t likely to lead to an agreeable solution, and can also cause feelings to be hurt unintetionally.
Stick to Your Guns
Stick to your guns, no matter how hard someone tries to sway your decision. Remember that you don’t need to feel guilty about saying no. There’s no reason to be upset about it either. The majority of the time, it really is in everyone’s best interest. Simply explain that you’re not saying “no” to be mean or difficult. Reiterate the reason or reasons why you’re saying no, as gently as you can.
Yes, believe it or not, it’s entirely possible to say “no” at Christmas. Armed with all of the tips listed above, the task is probably easier than you think.