“Yes, of course I’ll help!” One of the kindest, yet most detrimental phrases out there.
Many of us truly want to be there for others any time they need help, and we hope they will do the same – but how realistic is this? While helping others is a great thing, it becomes a problem when we overcommit ourselves and say yes to every call for help we receive. “We all only have a limited amount of time and energy,” says Julie Bailey, Clinical Manager for Centerstone. “And with limited supplies of both, overcommitting will cause you to run out of one or the other.”
So does this mean we should never say “yes?” Absolutely not. Helping others puts good into the world and fosters connections between us. But, we need to be more mindful of where we offer our yes.
Before you do commit to helping someone, you should make sure it is within your capacity to actually accomplish – is it realistic? This requires self-awareness and intentionality.
Before even receiving requests, prioritize what is in the realm of requests to say yes to. This comes through focusing on what is important to you. “The key is really knowing your values,” says Julie Bailey. While you can still be flexible, know the kinds of things that you will actually be able to do, both practically/physically and mentally. If you have less things occupying your time and you are in a more relaxed season, you can be more open to different kinds of requests.
In a busier season, pay attention to potentially upcoming requests. If there is something in your ballpark of ability that you know may be approaching, it might be best to say no to other requests in anticipation of that one. Prioritizing your “yes” with these strategies will help you avoid the downfalls of overcommitment – sacrificing sleep, self-care, inner peace, and even physical health.
But what about the actual act of saying “no?” This can be the hardest part of this fight for inner peace. Kindly telling others no also requires self-awareness, on top of good communication. Here are a few tips for letting others down easy.
If you find yourself losing sleep over your relationship management and need extra support, Centerstone is here to help. Call us at 1-877-HOPE123 (877-467-3123) or visit centerstone.org/connect-with-us/ to get connected with care.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.
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