Saying Yes and Feeling Frazzled?
Stephanie Misaki Whiting, ENFJ, MS


Has this ever happened to you?

Someone makes a request or asks you to do something. Your first thought is “oh, no” and you react with a sinking feeling. You don’t really want to take on the request, but you automatically say “yes” or “ok.” You don’t really want to do it, but you say "yes" out of habit.

And now you are stressed, out of time again and losing patience!

If this is you, it is a sign that it‘s time for a change.

What Can You Do?

First. Figure out why you say “yes” and why you let yourself get talked into it. Perhaps you’ve been persuaded by – “It won’t take long,” “I can’t find anyone else to do this,” “just this once,” “I won’t ask again” etc. These are not reasons why you should say “yes.” Those are reasons the asker is putting on you.

Feeling Guilt? Not wanting to let someone down or chance having them get angry with you? Feeling duty-bound?? These are reasons you are putting on yourself. They take away from your ability to judge the worth of the task in the context of your available time, energy and actual interest.

Start a new habit. When someone makes a request, learn to say “I’ll get back to you” or “I’ll check my schedule and let you know.” This will give you time to consider the request and make a decision.

It’s helpful to understand that people who usually say yes to requests will most likely be called upon again. Now is the time to assess your limits and set boundaries. Figure out exactly how much time you can give or how many projects you want to be involved in. Then tell yourself that this is what you can afford to do. Your time and energy are like money in the bank. When you use up your reserves without giving yourself opportunity to replenish, your account will soon be overdrawn.

Because you’re in the habit of automatically agreeing to requests, you’ll need practice saying statements like “I won’t be able to help with this,” “I’m already committed at that time” or “This is something I am not interested in.“ That’s right, practice by repeating these statements out loud. You’ve had plenty of practice answering “yes,” “sure” and “ok” to requests. Help yourself make this change, practice responses to use when you’ve decided the offer is not for you.

Let your Yes’s be a mindful affirmation rather than another reason to feel frazzled!

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