I can’t tell you how many times I have said yes to something when I should have said no. This has caused me some problems in my life, I do need to remind myself how and why it is important to give the right answer the first time. That right answer never fails to be “let me think about it and get back to you.” If you are an adult with ADHD, you know that your mind often is way ahead of your reality. You want to say yes to those that you love and care about, please others, do it all, and see a smile on someone’s face; often at the expense of yourself or your actual abilities. Here are a few suggestions to learning to say no and to get your life back.
Let the person know you need to check your schedule – Don’t say yes to anything on the spot. Let the individual know that you need to check your schedule and need to get back to them. This would include having lunch or coffee. It is amazing how many of these requests can pile up and keep you from doing the work you need to get done and how easy it is to say yes when you mean no.
Make sure your priorities are met first- Different things come up during the week that are not on your schedule, make sure your priorities are met first before you say yes to anything extra. Add the extra things if you are able and if it is in your best interest.
Take care of you first- No matter how much you care or love the person, or want to help the person, don’t say yes instead of saying no. If you don’t take care of yourself first, how will you be able to take care of others. You can help them find their solutions but be sure to keep your boundaries and take care of yourself.
Practice on learning to say no- Many adults with ADHD are people pleasers and don’t don’t want to let anyone down. The next time a decision comes up, say no, look at this as practice and just do it. Take the old beliefs that you have a hard time setting to the new beliefs and that you can do it without feeling guilty.