You Don't Need an Explanation to Say NO

Cheney Meaghan Giordano

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Sometimes I just don’t want to do anything.

Sometimes I want to sit on my butt and watch TV like a lump and not be bothered by anything or anyone, and to me, that is totally okay.

Every once in a while we are entitled to some downtime and alone time when we have no obligations to anyone but ourselves…

So why is it so hard to make that happen, sometimes?

As a parent, I have a ton of obligations. I have to take my daughter to all her appointments and activities, I have my own constant therapy and doctor’s appointments to go to, friends to meet and spend time with, a writing group to participate with…

And sometimes it all feels like too much, and I just want to run and hide and say NO to all of my obligations and everyone in my life who is demanding my time.

You know what? That is totally okay.

You are entitled to have some alone time.

You can’t be everything to everyone all the time, and you don’t owe all of your time to other people and things.

It’s perfectly okay to say no to your friends when you don’t feel like going out.

It’s even okay to cancel an appointment every once in a while when you don’t see enough free time coming for you down the road, or if you just plain don’t feel going.

Even if you have a child and the obligations that go along with raising one, that doesn’t mean that it’s not okay to slip off to the bathroom and hide when you feel the urge, or even go a few steps further and book yourself a day at a spa or just take yourself out for lunch instead of giving your all to them, all the time.

It’s okay to run and hide if that’s what you feel like you need to do.

We’ve all been there.

You Owe No One Your Business

You don’t need to feel pressured to come up with an explanation as to why you can’t come to an appointment or why you don’t want to go out to lunch with a friend — sometimes a simple “No, thank you,” is quite enough.

You don’t owe anyone your reasons for turning them down to protect your own time.

Don’t feel pressured to lie or make up an excuse for your absence, just try giving NO a try and see what happens.

“No, thank you, I have other things I want to do today.”

“No, thank you, I have other things I need to prioritize today.”

It’s really not that hard, and it also feels good, even empowering to take back your time without feeling like you need to cheat or lie your way out of something.

You don’t owe someone an elaborate explanation — or even lie — to not do something you don’t want to do.

You Own Your Time

Ultimately, you are the one who is in control of your life and how you spend your time.

Don’t let pressure from outside forces make you do something you really don’t want to do.

I know it can be hard to turn down friends and family, but sometimes it’s more important to protect your own alone time than it is to satisfy someone else’s desires for your time and attention.

It’s really okay to put yourself first every once in a while and just say no to things.

In fact, sometimes it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.

Protecting your time, making sure you aren’t spread too thin and have the space to decompress, is a huge part of taking care of your mental health and wellness.

But guilt over saying no to things doesn’t have to be a part of your life.

So, say no next time you don’t feel like doing something.

Own your time.

Don’t apologize.

Just do what you feel is right for you, and let it be okay if that means other people get disappointed, sometimes.

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I write about parenting, family, relationships, education, disability, mental health, and a whole lot about writing.

Salem, CT
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