Do you find it difficult to say no? Do you have a habit of overcommitting? Nowadays, it's difficult to balance a successful career, a family life, and obligations. If your free time is being devoured by commitments you don't care about, this list is for you!
Every one of us has been there. The awkward baby shower invitation from your sister's friend. The wedding is taking place halfway across the country. The last-minute phone call asking you to come in on your day off. Some things in life cannot be avoided. Fortunately, this is not the case in these instances. Do you want to learn how to make an excuse? Continue reading to learn 5 ways to get out of any situation.
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1. Be (mostly) truthful
They say that the best policy is to be honest. And it will be if it works. You've been asked to volunteer at your child's school yet again? Tell them that, as much as you enjoy contributing, you have most likely fulfilled your obligation for the school year. Is your office manager putting pressure on you to work even more overtime? Say up front that you're in the middle of a large project and simply cannot commit to more time. Are you concerned that this will reflect poorly on you? Be tactful and a little flamboyant.
Is your best friend hell-bent on enlisting you in her pyramid scheme? Tell her that, while you're ecstatic about that miracle shake, you're allergic to half of the ingredients and can't justify selling something you can't try for yourself. Trying to avoid a traffic ticket? You get the idea.
Being truthful does not imply being impolite. There are ways to tell the truth tactfully while still making your point. The goal of this strategy is to be direct. If you prefer to avoid conflict, this may not be the best option for you. Don't worry, there are plenty more suggestions ahead!
2. Be (Extremely) Graphic
You need to get out of that family dinner with your in-laws, don't you? Nothing beats the tried-and-true “I'm feeling under the weather” excuse. Have you used it before? Do you have any reservations? Increase the level of detail. Nobody wants to catch the stomach flu or that horrible cold, no matter how valuable your presence is (whether you really have it or not). Especially when you tell them how bad you're feeling, how much sweat you're dripping, or how many times you've had to change the bedsheets. Take the stance that “while I would love to be there, I just don't want you to get this terrible rash.” Not only will your host understand, but they will be relieved that you did not expose them to whatever it is you have.
Embarrassed to discuss the intricacies of the bad sushi you had the night before? There are numerous other suggestions that may be more appropriate for your personality.
3. Maintain a busy schedule
According to studies, we are busier than ever. While this does not always equate to success, it is a great way to get out of a potluck you didn't want to attend. What is the most effective way to persuade your host? Share your to-do list with them, and let them know how stressed you are. Nobody can argue with a looming deadline, a mountain of overdue reports, or a jam-packed schedule. Just make sure that you schedule time for things that interest you outside of work. You can even use the evening you just freed up to do something fun (or nothing at all!).
Keep in mind that you have complete control over your time. If you've agreed to do something you don't want to do, you can justify wriggling out of it by thinking about your busy schedule.
4. Be Apological
Maybe you're one of the few people who has tried every option on this list. What is the best solution for you? Extend your apologies. Doesn't that sound overly simplistic? Apologize in a way that is appropriate for the situation. Tell your husband how sorry you are that you will be unable to host the annual Superbowl party this year, despite your desire to try out your new sliders recipe.
Tell your parents how disappointed you are that you will be unable to attend their annual anniversary celebration. The best way to make peace with your host is to express your regret and sincerely apologize. Do you require another reason? Saying sorry (and truly meaning it) has been shown to improve your physical and mental health.
5. Be ready to say no right away
From the beginning, master the art of saying no. You can use any of the suggestions above. Most importantly, acknowledge that you are in charge. Your time is priceless. You are in charge of your own schedule. Before you say “Yes!” to something, make sure you're truly interested in it. Don't be afraid to request a day or a night to review your schedule. Even if you say no, people will appreciate your efforts to be present. It not only makes you more considerate, but it also helps you advance in life. And if they're still pressuring you to make a decision? Maintain your composure. It is preferable (and easier) to say no from the start than to have to backtrack later.
You now have 5 ways to get out of any situation! Be mindful of how you spend your time, don't be afraid to say no, and schedule time each day to do something you enjoy. Do you have any other go-to excuses? Do you have any tried-and-true methods for avoiding obligations? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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