The Guilt-Free “No”

shutterstock_120702730When we are dealing with chronic illness and desperately need rest, not to mention a lot less stress to heal, it is critical we carve out the necessary time to treat ourselves well. We all know that means having to say “no,” more than we say “yes”. And yet, in spite of knowing this, we still say ‘yes’. As a result, we pay the price with body aches, fevers, even full-blown flares that last long after the party is over. So, why don’t we…? just say that little word… “no”.

Well, consider this your permission slip…

Start with Generosity…

You can’t go wrong with generosity & appreciation. Ever.

“you know I always love seeing you…”
“you always throw the best parties…”

Then, tell them “no.”
This point is non-negotiable. Be clear. Avoid squishy words like “maybe…” and “I’ll try…”

“I love you, but no.”
“You are a spectacular human being. Which makes it (really) hard to say no. But … no.”

(optional) If you happen into a circumstance where you absolutely have to convey an explanation, you can, without getting too personal or having to go into detail about your illness (or circumstances) to someone, by putting a positive spin on it.

“I’ve made a strong commitment to take care of my health this year. Which means saying ‘no’ more than I’d like — but as much as I need.”

If your tone is guilt-ridden & squirmy, people will respond with raised eyebrows. But if your tone is light & celebratory, people will root for you. Find the silver-lining in your new decision, and express it.

Close with Gratitude.

A solid “thank you” for the invite/offer/etc.

You can also add, “I look forward to feeling better for the next time”

Always remember, if the guilt begins to set in the next time you want to say NO, but find yourself waffling, ask yourself, “If my best friend were in this situation, would I encourage her to say YES or NO? And if she felt bad about saying NO, what would I tell her?” Then … know that whatever advice you’d give to your beautiful friend applies doubly to YOU. 🙂

Prioritizing our health can mean that we have to say ‘no’ more times than we say ‘yes’, but for every ‘no’ now, you are opening up the possibility for a lot more ‘YES’s’ in life. You, and your health come first!