Keep Holiday Stress to a Minimum: Learn to Say No
Before your holiday stress levels start to rise, learn these 4 simple tactics for saying no to unnecessary obligations.
How to Say No to Holiday Stress
1. Say No to Parties That You Don't Want to Attend
First, "Lavishly thank the person for inviting you," Breitman
Then apply the "less is more" rule, she says. Skip the long-winded
explanation in favor of something short, sweet, and general: "I'm sorry,
but I already have plans for that day."
"Your plan may be to take a bubble bath because you're stressed out. Or
you're renting a movie and having hot cocoa with your family," Breitman
says. "No one has to know what your commitment is."
If the other person insists on knowing why you can't come, the burden of
prying will be on him, Breitman writes in her book. Don't fall into the trap of
coming up with new and creative excuses, she says. Instead, paraphrase
yourself: "I won't be able to come" or "I already have something on
Don't lie and make up an excuse, Skelton says. "You don't want to hurt
someone's feelings, so you come up with anything, but later, it might come back
to bite you." In other words, you'll feel embarrassed if you're caught, and
you'll damage the relationship, too.
If you receive an invitation from someone you genuinely want to see -- just
not during the hectic holiday season -- suggest an alternative, Breitman says.
For example, you can say, "I can't make it to your party, but let's have
lunch after the holidays."