Do you ever find yourself agreeing to help a friend or do someone a favor that you don’t have time for? Have you ever regretted doing that favor and get frustrated by how you keep finding yourself in this position? Does other people’s stress seem to overwhelm you? Sometimes it can feel like you’ve got nothing left to give at the end of the day.

It is hard to say no to people, especially our friends and family. Your sense of obligation to make others happy can be so strong at times. How can you NOT be there for the people that you love and care for? But at some point you have to take a step back and ask, who is taking care of me?

Setting boundaries is key so building and sustaining all types of relationships, friendship, intimate partnerships, even relationships with family members. The easiest way to begin to set boundaries is to say no. If you cannot aid a friend or assist a parent, or simply do not feel like you have more to give in the moment, saying no can be an effective way to alleviate stress in your own life.  

Here are five ways to say no in order to set boundaries:

1.     No thanks, I can’t.
2.     I don’t have time today.
3.     Maybe next time?
4.     I have a lot of work to catch up on.
5.     No.   

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