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How to Say No Successfully

 

Caregiving is one of the most challenging jobs we'll ever face. We so desperately want to say “yes” to people we love—yes to Mom moving in with us, or watching her pooch while she's in stroke rehab, or taking over for an out-of-state sibling who can't pitch in. But when we say yes to everything, we risk fatigue, burnout, and resentment—and it ultimately impacts our ability to be a good caregiver.

For frazzled minds, one of the most healing things we can do for ourselves is to say no. “No is the word we must use to protect ourselves and to stand up for everything and everyone that matters to us,” says William Ury, author of The Power of a Positive No (Random House, 2007). Here are Ury’s three tips for saying it gracefully and effectively.

  1. Uncover your higher yes. Behind every no is something you want to say yes to instead; for example, a no to sitting down for a financial planning meeting means you can say yes to making a comforting meal, driving to PT, or planning an outing for your loved one. Your higher yes is the way you most effectively and naturally give and offer your care.
  2. Make your nos nice. When we’re overextended or protecting our boundaries, a no can come across as defensive and short; a no that is warm, respectful, and positive is more effective, and preserves goodwill.
  3. Negotiate to a healthy yes. If the request is important or has created tension within a valuable relationship, follow your no with a positive proposal: Maybe having your mom move in with you is too overwhelming, but you're able to help her create a support network of caregiving professionals and friends to ensure she's cared for and not alone.

By: Stroke-Network.com Staff Writer

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"When we say yes to everything, we risk fatigue, burnout, and resentment—and it ultimately impacts our ability to be a good caregiver. "

For frazzled minds, one of the most healing things we can do for ourselves is to say no. “No is the word we must use to protect ourselves and to stand up for everything and everyone that matters to us,” says William Ury, author of The Power of a Positive No (Random House, 2007).

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