A valid statement of wants and needs. Last year we could easily say no due to the pandemic and we could avoid family and friends. This year it’s not as easy, there’s the expectations of others and traditions. Interesting how we now are more tuned into what we want vs. feel pressure to do.
What can we do?
Invest time into healthy boundaries. It’s a strong resiliency skill!
Healthy boundaries can help us to say no. Many of clients want stronger boundaries and to say no with grace and love.
Healthy boundaries = Saying yes to what you want to and NO to what you don’t want, while mitigating toxic people and environments.
No vember - There’s so many No November memes’, reminding us to say no to the things, people, places, and events that drain our energy, no to stealing our joy, no shave, no sugar, no alcohol, no stress, no lies, no anger, no, no, no, no…
Easy to say and click like on – not so easy to implement into our daily lives.
Benefits of Healthy boundaries
- a way to love, honor and take care of yourself and others
- Saying no builds self confidence
- Greater compassion
- Reduces frustration, anger and negativity
- Increases peace and safety
Planning for the Holidays - Start saying “NO” in November Tips = Boundaries
1.Take time to evaluate the upcoming holiday season and the events, traditions, travel and gatherings.
a.What brings you joy and love?
b.What brings you stress and negativity?
2.Next evaluate your schedule with energy, time, travel, and rest included.
a.What do you want to say Yes to?
b.What do you want to say No to?
Remember you have the choice of what you say, do and think. Always.
3.Triggers – be aware of them and make a mitigation plan.
a.If X gets drunk and obnoxious, I’m leaving the room.
b.If the conversation turns to X hot topic, I will not engage.
c.If __ happens, I’ll respectfully remove myself.
4.Practice Soft No and Hard No’s
Soft no’s – leave room for a possible yes & can be easier
a.Say no, not this year.
b.Say no, not now.
c.I have to check my calendar.
e.I’m exhausted, let’s talk in a couple hours.
Hard No’s – firm but kind
f.No, I need to take care of myself.
g.No, I’m setting personal boundaries.
h.No, I’ve got other plans. (you don’t need to explain)
i.No, I appreciate the invite and offer but I’m not going to make it.
j.No thank you.
5.Want to say No but just “can’t / won’t” options
Those challenging times, people and events that no feels too much.
a.Thank you I’m coming for X (30min, 1 hour, deserts, starters, main meal)
i.Define a time frame that will work for you and let the host know.
b.Maybe, let me get back to you by ____ date/time.
c.I need to check with my calendar/other person
d.I can bring a pie over for deserts and visit for a bit.
e.Yes, and I’m setting this boundary for my visit
6.Boundaries for healthy living and happier holidays
a.Determine your boundaries – see this article I wrote on how to set them.
b.Communicate your boundary with love, grace and respect with the host/family friend.
i.I may need to step out or leave to take care of myself.
ii.If ___ happens (fill in the blank of what is overstepping your boundaries.) then I will (how you will take care of yourself)
iii.I’m taking care of myself this year and I need ___.
iv.If I leave the room and take a walk by myself it’s not personal, it’s for my health.
7.Stay firm and stand your ground with your boundaries
a.Repeat your boundary without emotion & respectfully
c.You do not need to explain or justify yourself
d.Remove yourself from the room, place, situation.
8.More tips for setting boundaries with friends and families
a. Click Here
9.When there’s been changes in the family dynamics – deaths, divorce, illness …
a.Tips for survival and navigating the change.
10. Strategies for family time and the holidays
a. 10 more strategies
I hope you feel more comfortable setting your boundaries and practicing saying no in November.
I wish you and yours the most blessed November and holiday season. Acknowledge that it can sometimes be a little overwhelming with all of the get togethers and expectations.
Make space for yourself and be mindful of how you spend the time and your interactions.
I know I need extra quiet time in between gatherings and events. I’m working towards being comfortable with no, stating my boundaries and saying no.
What are your thoughts on this topic of saying No, boundaries and the holidays with friends and family?
I’d love to hear them. Please like, comment, and share!
Peace, Love, and Blessings,
Teresa – leaning into saying No and being mindful with boundaries.
Teresa Q. Bitner, M.Ed., PMP, ACC - Resiliency, Change and Loss Coach
Partnering with those who have been knocked down my life and want to build resiliency and move forward and live a bold life.
Author of Soul Love: How A Dog Taught Me to Breathe Again &
The First Days Widow Journey
Join me with the Lean In Network Austin
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I'm honored to be one of the panelists.
Panelists: Marisa Bingham, Dora Carpenter, Teresa Bitner
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