Sometimes finding the words you need isn't easy. Here are some suggestions for things to say when you need to set a boundary. Read More
For the past couple of years near the end of summer I have been going to a friends cottage which is probably around 3 hrs north of where I live. A good chunk of people go up Thursday evening and stay until Monday. I on the other hand show up Friday night or Saturday morning and am out of there by Sunday. By the second day I'm done. I have a great time don't get me wrong but when I'm done I'm done, and that's usually by day two.I use to just blatantly lie and make things up like yeah you know i have to work, or when I was going to school I used that as an excuse. They thought I was just trying to get out of helping to clean up the place which isn't the case.
Once I actually found out about introversion and extroversion and explained it to them, making sure they understood I had a great time which I always do, but that they drain my energy and that by day two im ready to leave. For the most part they understand. Some still think im trying to get out of clean up.. but at the end all goes well. I get to leave and I'm invited the following summer.
PS- the drive home is blissful :)
Declining depends on who we are saying 'no' too. If it is an understanding friend, I can be honest and say 'I'm way too tired, overstimulated, burnt out, in need of quiet time' etc
I find it more helpful to be direct and clear with those who may tend to 'push' or not understand as fully. I rarely offer explanations. Just state my position and hold to it.
'I'm not going to be able to make it, but thanks for inviting me'
'I'm not available tonight/ on that date. Thankyou for the invite.'
'I'm going home now, it's been great! See you next time'
'I dont feel to go to that (party/concert/dinner party); how about a tea or a walk one afternoon next week?
Self-care first! Holding these boundaries can feel strange and unfamiliar following decades of yielding to requests from others at the expense of one's own energy reserves. I'm still new at this and appreciate the discussion.
What I have trouble with is asking people not to touch me. It often injects coldness into the relationship, when in fact I really enjoy being warm and close--just without the skin contact. It gets complicated by the fact that sometimes I do really appreciate that a person can casually touch me and I want them to do that, but no one is going to be able to handle the vagaries of "I enjoy these select people casually touching me on this day, but no one is allowed to touch me on this other day." So if I do make the request, I make it universal--and then I just miss out on anybody touching me, ever. The other complicating factor is intimate relationships. I want to wait far longer than the other person does before we engage in casual touching. But making that request usually makes the other person extra cautious of me, which slows down the emotional closeness, which feels like I'm sabotaging my own progress.
.....is saying NO to the office "get together". I have worked with fun groups of people in the past who just like some downtime together away from the office for a quick glass of wine and apps after work after a crazy day....it was a good time to decompress, hash out what just happened, laugh, and put it behind us. It was a great group of people that included all personalities and I, one of the few introverts, felt extremely comfortable amongst them. However, my current group includes mostly heavy drinkers that drink to get silly drunk and will only hit up the local bar. It's not fun for me AT ALL and my boss embarrasses himself. I feel like I am running out of my currently allotment of excuses and "no's". Nothing is "mandatory" but saying no definitely puts a lot of distane between me and them.
Perhaps you could go for one drink and then leave. No need to stay until people are embarrassing themselves.
"It's not fun for me AT ALL". This speaks for itself imo.
I am getting much more established in holding to what is true FOR ME and trusting that and living from that. Something like, 'it's really not my thing'. Are there any quiet people at work who you could share with in other ways eg a walk, a tea, a half hour in the park?
If you are assertive - and I KNOW how uncomfortable this can feel to begin with, you may find that others reveal themselves to you and you will find the kind of support you prefer.
Even one drink sounds to me to be a MASSIVE compromise and stressful; fair enough for a birthday or celebration, but not as an ongoing occasion, why do that to yourself?
Wishing you well!
Exactly my sentiments! If I go for even ONE, it starts the ball rolling and opens me up to all kinds of stuff I don't want to have to deal with (and would still continue to deal with the next day). I was forced into doing that a couple of weeks ago and it didn't go smoothly as I had planned. I was in a position where I didn't have an easy out of "cocktail hour". In leaving, however, I did find some kindred spirits and a couple of others quietly excused themselves as well and we actually ended up hitching a ride together. So I know I am not alone, but it's too bad that I am the one who has to feel compromised. I would never begrudge someone their mojito so don't begrudge me my peace and quiet!
I have a lot of trouble with this, so I'm grateful for the post. I go back and forth whether I should make up an excuse or pretend I have other plans. Every time I do make something up to get out of an invite, I feel like I just told myself I'm not worth it to speak up and speak my truth... that I just want to stay in. I'm working on being for confident and assertive with this. It's definitely challenging, but I'm always glad when I speak my truth. I choose me and that feels good and empowering. Thanks for the suggestions on how to word things for different situations- especially what to say when you want to leave a party early. My friends always try and beg me to stay, like I am going to miss the night of my life if I leave early. It gets so uncomfortable.
This is a fantastic idea for an article, and many of the explanations are stellar. But far too many of these excuses are not firm, resolute, or otherwise unflinching in their objective. They allow for the other person to make you feel guilty for not wanting to go out. Without spiraling too far into a larger argument about "no means no!" I just feel like these are far too lenient and give the other person/people room to try and convince you to go out with them using unhealthy tactics.
We must remember: You can remain polite and diplomatic while also being firm and standing your ground.
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Sophia Dembling is a widely published Dallas, Texas-based writer. Her latest book is The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World.
Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?