Saying no - how do you handle this?

How do you feel when you have to say no to a request and how do you handle it? Do you realise that immediately that the request is ‘too much’ or do you realise later?

I do a voluntary job. It’s just right for me and all is fine except. I did the work I was alotted in good time, e-mailed it to them in good time (ie weeks ahead of the deadline). I went in today to be asked if I could go in tomorrow as there was a sudden deadline. I initially said yes but now I just feel I need to rest, so I have just sent them a ‘sorry but I won’t be able to make it’ e-mail, explaining that I get fatigue and need to pace myself. I also asked them if in future they could give me more notice re: sudden deadlines. Two of us are working on the project. Am I being reasonable?


Hi Flower-First good for you for doing voluntary work! How fulfilling :slight_smile: and YES I would say you’re being reasonable! If your body is telling you to rest you’re smart to take care of yourself-don’t feel bad-you need to do what’s best for you! Hopefully they understand.

I think you handled it fine.

Ron, KS

Hi Flower,

I admire you for doing a voluntary job, and I agree with Ron, I think you handled it just fine.

There can be such a fine line with these kinds of things - we’re always saying things like, ‘Just say no’, and ‘Do what you need to do to take care of yourself’, yet when we actually do we can either end up feeling guilty and wondering if we did the right thing, or there may be people who don’t understand. So we can end up feeling like we can’t win when we need to do either.

It’s great that you like the work you’re doing and the people you’re working for appreciate your work enough to ask for your help. It’s also good that in taking care of yourself you’ve let them know you have a ‘reasonable accommodation’ need to be given prior notice for deadlines. Fortunately, needing to (unfortunately) occasionally back out of a commitment doesn’t make one unreliable.

Keep taking care of yourself, and enjoying your work!