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Learning to say no to friends

(10 Posts)
GiveMumABreak Sun 21-Apr-13 19:36:49

My New Years resolution (4 month ago!) was to stop 'spreading myself too thin' I am very lucky to have lots of great friends. I only work 2 days a week (i have 2 kids, 9 and 12, very independant and a helpful considerate husband) so in theory should have plenty of time - I end up somehow filling up my calendar and have social engagements every day, we are on a fairly tight budget (and I cannot afford the many lunches,coffee dates and shopping trips with my friends, who are all more 'well off' than us) I feel frazzled and resentful that I never have any time for myself, or indeed any alone time with my own family (my own fault entirely).

I'd love any practical tips you have on managing your time, prioritising friends and learning to say no without losing special friends. I've never been very assertive, maybe a bit of a 'people pleaser'.

RandomMess Sun 21-Apr-13 19:38:33

Book yourself a day off from EVERYONE during the week - doesn't have to be the same day each week but block it out and be unavailable that day?

lowercase Sun 21-Apr-13 19:51:42

When you get asked to do something, say you will have to check your diary, or that you will get back to them, then hide behind a text or phone call later and say you have thought about it / checked diary and you can't do it.

That's what I do!

GiveMumABreak Sun 21-Apr-13 19:54:17

That's a good idea, thanks Random. I'm off to book some days off in the the calendar right now - and while I'm at it a family time weekend off too!

GiveMumABreak Sun 21-Apr-13 19:56:00

I like your style lowercase, Mmmm... a delay tactic (while I work out how to say no thanks, not this time!)

Looksgoodingravy Sun 21-Apr-13 20:14:04

Can't you just be honest with them and tell your friends you're cutting back on the meet ups in the week as you've got lots to do at home or something similar.

Are you out every day?

GiveMumABreak Tue 23-Apr-13 10:51:00

No, not out every day - I just feel I got my priorities wrong for a while - and was spending money and time when I should've been elsewhere being more productive. I realised I'm crap at saying no and watch other mums doing it better (saying no and balancing their lives) I started getting myself really frazzled because so much energy was being spent on trivial things. I'm having a much better week ths week - getting lots of important jobs done am calm and focused ( my other problem is doing people favours, and always being asked by friends.... But that's another issue......did I mention I fear I am a classic people pleaser)

RobotLover68 Tue 23-Apr-13 11:34:24

Definitely use the "check my diary" delaying tactic - also don't over explain - there's nothing wrong with just saying "no, sorry cant make that day" you don't have to give reasons. I usually then follow that up by offering a day that is convenient so I don't start spreading myself too thin. I WAS a people pleaser but I've been working hard with a therapist and I no longer do it - it's hard, I know

JustinBsMum Tue 23-Apr-13 18:30:06

Perhaps you could take up jogging, though not really, so you are busy and not available for stuff.

And not answer calls for above 'reason', then, when you ring back later be ready with an excuse or just no, so you are not caught out with an unexpected request.

GuffSmuggler Tue 23-Apr-13 18:39:21

In a similar sort of vein, DH and I decided we wanted at least one night a week just for US as we were getting so busy. So we book it out in both our diaries and when people ask us to do things that night we just say 'oh we can't we are busy that night' as I found if I said to someone we were staying in people would argue against it and say things like 'oh you can do that anytime' (we no we can't actually, we are too busy!).

Like robot says, you don't have to over explain, for decent friends a 'no I can't' should be enough without them pressurising.

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