I read a good article recently on saying no. Many ADD’ers can multi-task, and some can’t. One of the pitfalls people will stumble into, is feeling obligated to do something or help when they are already managing too much. Learning to identify when it’s time to say no and step back and turn it off is a very important skill everyone must learn. Many people feel pressured and this pressure comes in two forms; direct or self imposed.
Direct pressure could come from a boss who is leaning on you to take another task on and meet a deadline. Self imposed pressure is almost always a result of simply taking on too much, when we have the choice of not doing so. It requires a thought process that allows us to find that internal off switch and realize that we are about to take on too much. There is nothing wrong with saying no, it is your right.
I saw some great advice online from Laurie Dupar, Senior Certified ADHD Coach and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, who specializes in working with clients diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. She said, “Today I invite you to join me in remembering it’s OK to say no, and our world (or other people’s worlds) won’t fall apart because of it.
- Say: “No” if your plate is already full.
- Say: “Let me check my calendar and get back to you.”
- Say: “I’d love to help…let me get back to you later.”
- Say, “I’d love to, but now is not a good time…when can we reschedule?”
- Say: “I would be happy to do you a favor…if I can.”
- Say: “Can I have a rain check?”
- Say no if you’d rather relax than go out—or go out rather than stay in. Only we know when we need to recharge and take care of ourselves.
- Say no, even if a part of you feels a little guilty about it. Feeling guilty means we are stuck between two things that are important to us- like wanting to help others, but needing to take care of current responsibilities. There are always going to be requests. I like to be asked. Sometimes I’ll be able to help; sometimes I won’t.
- Say no because you don’t have time.
- Say no even without a detailed excuse—“This isn’t the right fit for me” is perfectly valid.
- And perhaps the hardest, say no if you change your mind, even if you’ve already said yes.”
Try and figure out what strategy of saying no might work for you and understand how to turn your internal off switch off. Read Laurie Duparat’s article The ADHD Challenge of Saying “No”