‘Sleeptember’ and how to create an adult bedtime routine that actually works
‘Sleeptember’ and how to create an adult bedtime routine that actually works

Sarah Finnan

Actor Richard E Grant reveals late wife Joan had lung cancer
Actor Richard E Grant reveals late wife Joan had lung cancer

Jennifer McShane

Kitchen accessories under €30 to get you excited to cook again
Kitchen accessories under €30 to get you excited to cook again

Megan Burns

Lily Collins shares photos of her divine wedding gown
Lily Collins shares photos of her divine wedding gown

Jennifer McShane

‘Guilt and relief’: Inspired by Project Meghan, working mums have this advice for those returning to work after babies
‘Guilt and relief’: Inspired by Project Meghan, working mums have this advice for those returning...

Amanda Cassidy

‘I told my husband ‘they’ve found something suspicious in my brain, we’re going to have our baby tomorrow night”
‘I told my husband ‘they’ve found something suspicious in my brain, we’re going to have...

Amanda Cassidy

6 of the biggest royal scandals skipped in The Crown season 4
6 of the biggest royal scandals skipped in The Crown season 4

Jennifer McShane

PODCAST: Work Rest & Slay with Melanie Morris: Episode 2
PODCAST: Work Rest & Slay with Melanie Morris: Episode 2

Shayna Sappington

Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the end it was too much’
Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the...

Amanda Cassidy

This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city living
This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city...

Megan Burns

Image / Editorial

Learn To Say ‘No’


by IMAGE
03rd Jul 2014
blank

Learn To Say 'No'

The benefits to your social and work life of the occasional well-placed no

There’s a chapter in Danielle La Porte’s bestseller The Firestarter Sessions entitled ?We Know You’re Busy. Now Shut Up About It.? Familiar? Let’s face it: we all love it when we’re run off our feet, flat out, up to 90, balls to the wall. The more we do, the better we look, right? Juggling competing demands isn’t exactly a cake-walk so the attendant kudos can be sweet. But as La Porte wisely points out, ?Whatever is on your plate got there because you said yes to it.? In other words: busy is a choice.

But hold on a second, I hear you say. Choice is the ultimate luxury. If we all had a choice, we’d be watching Breaking Bad box sets in the afternoon, not being all things to all people. Granted, in an economy where cutbacks and limited resources involve doing double duty, it’s not always tenable to say ?no?. ?That said, the societal premium placed on ‘doing? is more insidious than we’ll admit.

?How are you? Bananas?? enquired an acquaintance recently. ?No, just ticking over,? I replied. An awkward silence ensued as if I had broken some unspoken pact. My betrayal didn’t just indict me; it revealed the ?busy? paradigm to have an opt-out clause. Busted.

It’s not so much that we want to be that busy but not wanting to carries a heavier penalty – not being a team player, not caring or, worse, not being ambitious enough. Throw in the threat of job loss or social marginalisation and the result is, literally, overwhelming. Anxiety, burnout and stress can all threaten to have more deleterious effects on our lives than establishing boundaries with an occasional, well-placed ?no?. ?In corporate speak, this is referred to as ?capacity management? – establishing the extent of one’s personal reserves relative to the task at hand.

Easier said than done. Whether from a need to please others or a fear of missing out, the ?yes? epidemic continues to interfere with the flow of prioritisation or what LaPorte refers to as ?the metric of ease?.

?Choosing easy is smart, efficient, elegant; a fantastic form of self-compassion, giving yourself a break and getting out of your own way… Amazing grace can happen when you choose internal rhythms over external pressure.?

Ironically, in turning something down, we disappoint fewer people – most importantly, ourselves.? Establishing stronger boundaries frees us up to concentrate on what’s most important.? Just say ?no?. It’s a lot easier than talking about how busy you are.

Annmarie O’Connor @aocdotme

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Suddenly alive again’: The heartbreaking joy of finding a deceased loved one on Google Maps street view

“I look at my mum’s old house on Google maps street view, the house where I grew up. It says...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Quite interesting’: Princess Anne comments on The Crown

We’ve all heard that the royal family don’t exactly gather round to watch The Crown, but one member has shared...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
RELATIONSHIPS
The psychology of nostalgia and why we can’t get enough of it at the moment

There’s a reason we love being reminded of things that happened in our past. Amanda Cassidy explores why our trips...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
CULTURE
Reality Bites: TV shows like Love Island are warping our minds

It may be the most unifying show on television, but shows like Love Island are promoting some pretty damaging messages....

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
IMAGE WRITES
The sexist commentary at Wimbledon still remains a problem

Wimbledon in 2021 and once again female athletes are singled out on the playing field, a great deal of the...

By Jennifer McShane

Nóra Quoirin
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
Inquest ruling changed to open verdict in Nóra Quoirin’s death

A Malaysian judge has overturned an inquest verdict of misadventure in the death of 15-year-old Nóra Quoirin, changing it to...

By Jennifer McShane

toxic
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis