You can say no!

“On Saturday I have a dinner at my sister’s house, on Sunday, I have brunch with Mary and then I have to  help Caroline move out. I am overwhelmed!” And I did not want to do any of that!

It’s not because we don’t like them. Family, friends, children, boyfriend, old colleagues… We love them all! But sometimes we don’t feel like going out, biking, entrusting our children to someone… or doing anything for that matter.

Even the holiday season, this well-deserved break after a long year of hard work seems fully booked. But why is it like that? Why do we feel like people always want us to do things that we don’t want to do? Maybe we are just tired? Maybe we should just say no once in a while.


We often get the feeling that life moves fast and we must do everything, do it big, have something to talk about at work, impress our kids and get richer. We go on a holiday trip; we keep our kids busy because we want them to be competitive and happy and we keep in touch with friends that we haven’t been seeing enough since we had kids.

And we must admit that these people that we appreciate so much are quite happy to make us feel guilty about the restaurant reservation, their deception, the fact that we will never have this opportunity again, that we don’t see them enough and that our husband could babysit for once…

The holidays also make us feel like we should have a lot of fun. Some even hate Christmas because shopping, decorating, hosting and cooking require way too much time and energy. But we used to love Christmas!


This pressure doesn’t really exist. Old friends will not stop loving you simply because you feel like doing something else now and again. Your children can easily find something to do on a quiet weekend at home. It will even make them more independent to invent activities and use their imagination.

Christmas, summer vacations, Thanksgiving and weekends are all moments that belong to us. If you discuss with your family and find activities that please everyone, you will have a good time with the ones you love and you will still have some time to yourself.

Just say no!

You can stop answering the phone all you want, nothing will change the fact that you must give them an answer. You can’t just say, “I don’t know”, “maybe”, “yeah…” (thinking “no I won’t!”) to gain some time. If you don’t want to promise anything, just say no. You can give a quick explanation but if you don’t feel like doing something, it is perfectly normal that you refuse. You don’t even have to make excuses, you are allowed to say no. Except, of course, if you never feel like doing anything, in which case you should read this.

Let’s practice!
  • No, I can’t go to your place on Saturday, maybe next time…
  • No, I can’t spend both Christmas and New Year’s Eve at your place mom, we planned something with the kids but we’ll have plenty of time during the Holidays.
  • No, I’m not too keen on spinning, I won’t go, but we could do something else.
  • No, I’m not going out tonight, I am too tired.
  • No, I don’t want my son to wear that jacket, I know it is a good brand but he doesn’t like it.
  • No, my daughter can’t sleep at her friend’s house, I prefer when she sleeps here.

If you see yourself watching a good movie with a hot chocolate and your friend is reminding you that you haven’t done anything together for a while, ask her to come over. You must think about yourself now and again, even if just to keep a good attitude and spend quality time with the ones you love.

It is not healthy to always dwell on the idea that you never do what you want, whining, saying that you are bored and making others feel bad when all they wanted was to spend some time with you. Let’s become diplomatically honest and manage our moments to appreciate them all.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life” Steve Jobs

Image de Anne Costisella

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