Queen Bee QT: How to Say No and Still Be Friends

Queen Bee QT: How to Say No and Still Be Friends

“It’s OK to say no if you don’t feel moved by an opportunity—no matter how exciting it might sound to someone else. Happiness is a choice, but it’s made up of lots of smaller choices we need to make based on what we actually want.” ~Lori Deschene, TinyBuddha.com

Two friends

Sometimes, life can feel overwhelming. Between the demands of a home, a family and/or a busy career, many people are finding themselves overworked and over-committed.

If you find yourself feeling this way, like you can’t seem to “get your head above water,” you might need to start re-evaluating your personal choices.  It might be time to start saying no.

What’s so hard about saying no?

People-pleasers and victims of narcisissitic abuse are commonly among those who have trouble saying no to friends. After all, who doesn’t want to help a friend who asks for your help?

Unfortunately, there are times you simply need to say no when a friend seeks your assistance. Perhaps you’re way too busy or maybe your friend is asking you to do something that you’re uncomfortable doing.

It can be awkward to say no to a friend. No one wants to risk a friendship. You might be surprised to find out that it’s not that hard to say no and still be friends.

Follow these principles and you can say no without damaging your friendship:

1. Make certain you didn’t misunderstand. Misunderstandings are common. Maybe you didn’t hear what you thought you heard. Get clarification before you say yes or no.

* Maybe you’ll be able to say yes, if you first seek to understand.

2. Separate the issue from those involved. Once you’ve gotten clear on the issue and determined that you’re not getting involved, remember that you’re still friends. Being friends is separate from the issue at hand.

* Ensure they understand that it’s the issue or your own situation that’s preventing you from saying yes, not them.

3. Keep the focus on yourself, not your friend. It doesn’t go over well if you say something like, “I can’t lend you money because everyone knows you’ll never pay it back.”

* Let them know that you care, but explain why you can’t help. It’s important that they understand why you’re saying no.

* For example, you could explain that you have a policy of never loaning money because it has ruined friendships in the past.

4. Be firm and clear in your “no.” Many of us give weak, wishy-washy answers that give the other person hope that we might change our minds. Avoid giving false hope and just give a clear “no.”

* A clear “no” ends the issue quickly. It’s like pulling off a Band-Aid with one quick pull.

5. What is the underlying need? If you can determine what he really needs, you can help your friend come up with another solution.

* Sometimes, a person in need doesn’t have the capacity to find more elegant solutions. You could be of great assistance by taking the time to brainstorm and look for other alternatives in which you aren’t involved.

6. Find another way to help them. Maybe you could help with the current issue in some smaller capacity. Offer other suggestions.

* Maybe they have another need where you would be happy to provide help and support.

* One of the keys to keeping the friendship is to ensure they walk away with something from you, even if it’s only advice and empathy.

* If they feel worse than they did before they approached you, the friendship is likely to be strained.

* How we feel about others is largely dependent on how they make us feel. Do what you can to make your friend feel better without compromising your limits.

It’s never easy to say no to a friend. But sometimes saying no is the only way to maintain a friendship. If helping your friend comes at too great a cost, you’ll end up feeling resentful, which can kill the relationship altogether.

Take care of yourself and say no when it’s appropriate. Be supportive of your friends and try to help in other ways if you can’t acquiesce to their request.

 

If you can show that you’re empathetic and offer help in another way, your friendship should remain strong. It can be an awkward situation, but sometimes saying no is the best option.

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Identifying Toxic Friendships

Identifying Toxic Friendships


“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” ~ Albert Camus

What is a true friend, in your opinion?

Everyone has a slightly different definition–but bottom line, a true friend is someone who is there for you when you need him or her, someone you trust, someone who makes you feel good.

Probably you have great conversations, share interests and support one another in your every day lives.

But what happens when a friend turns out to be “not so good” for you, if the friendship becomes toxic?

What is toxic friendship, anyway?

“The phrase ‘toxic friend’ is pop psychology,” says psychologist Dr. Jenn Berman. “I would say it’s someone who, after spending time with them, makes you feel bad about yourself instead of good; someone who tends to be critical of you — sometimes in a subtle way and sometimes not so subtle; a friend who drains you emotionally, financially, or mentally, and they’re not very good for you.”

How can one truly identify a toxic friendship?

It can be difficult, especially if you have been close to the friend for a long time. If you suspect that a friend is (or has become) toxic, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do you feel after spending time with or speaking to this person? Do you feel good and positive (for the most part) or do you find yourself worrying, stressing or obsessing about some aspect of the visit or call?
  • Are you afraid to tell your friend about some aspect of your life for fear of how they’ll react or fear of being judged harshly?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself avoiding contact with the person or ignoring their calls? Does your friend consistently “forget” about your plans or cancel at the last minute?
  • Does your friend actively insult or offend you on a consistent basis?
  • Do you find yourself feeling uncomfortable or bothered by your friend’s life choices, behavior or moral conduct?
  • Do you feel comfortable bringing up concerns about your friendship with this friend?
  • Does this friendship benefit you?
  • Do you trust this friend, really trust him or her?

These are just a few questions to get you started. In general, your friends should be an asset to your life, not a detriment.

Does someone in your life seem to be more of a hindrance than a help on your journey to personal bliss?

If so, it may be time to reevaluate your choices.

Mini-Bliss Mission for Those Dealing With a Potentially Toxic Friend

 

My challenge today applies to those readers who are currently dealing with a potentially toxic friendship.

Take a few minutes today to really consider the questions above in regard to the friend in question.

Be brutally honest, and take a quick inventory of the situation.

Have you ever dealt (or are you currently dealing) with a toxic friendship? How did or will you handle it? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below!

 

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