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5 Ways to Get Out of Anything

5 Ways to Get Out of Anything

Do you have a hard time saying no? Often find yourself overcommitting? These days, it’s hard to manage a prosperous career, family life, and still make time for obligations. If you find that your free time is being devoured by commitments you care nothing about, this list is for you!

We’ve all been there. The awkward baby shower invitation from a friend of your sister’s. The wedding halfway across the country. The last-minute phone call to come into work on your day off. Some things in life are unavoidable. Fortunately, this isn’t the case for these occasions. Want to master the art of the excuse? Read on to discover 5 ways to get out of anything.

1. Be (Mostly) Honest

They say that honesty is the best policy. And it is—if it works. Being asked to volunteer at your child’s school—again? Tell them that while you love contributing, surely you’ve met your obligation for the school year. Is your office manager on your case about working even more overtime? Be forthright and say that you’re in the middle of a huge project and just can’t commit to more time. Worried that this will reflect poorly on you? Be tactful, and embellish a bit.

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Is your best friend determined to bring you in on her pyramid scheme? Let her know that while you’re super excited about that shake that cures everything, you’re allergic to half of the ingredients and can’t get behind selling something you can’t try out yourself. Trying to get out of that traffic ticket? You get the point.

Being honest does not mean being rude. There are ways to tell the truth tactfully, and still get your point across. This strategy is about being direct. If you avoid confrontation, this may not be the option for you. Fear not—there are many other suggestions ahead!

2. Be (Overly) Graphic

Need to get out of that family dinner with your in-laws? Nothing works better than the old “feeling under the weather” excuse. Used this one before? Having doubts? Add more detail. As valuable as your attendance may be, nobody wants to catch the stomach flu, or that terrible cold (whether you really have it or not). Especially when you tell them how poorly you’re feeling, the buckets of sweat you’re shedding, or the amount of times you’ve had to change the bedsheets.

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Approach this from the angle of “While I really would love to be there, I just don’t want you to get this terrible rash”. Not only will your host understand, but they’ll be glad you didn’t expose them to whatever you may have.

Embarrassed to share the ins-and-outs of that bad sushi you had the night before? There are plenty of other tips that may suit your style a bit better.

3. Be Busy

Studies show that we’re busier than ever these days. While this doesn’t always translate to accomplishment, it’s a great way to get out of the potluck you didn’t really want to attend. The best way to convince your host? Share your to-do list, and let them know how much stress you’re up against. No one can argue with an impending deadline, a stack of overdue reports, or a packed schedule. Just be sure that you are scheduling in time for things that you’re interested in outside of work. You can even use the evening you just freed up for something that you really want to do (or nothing at all!).

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Remember that you are in control of your time. If you’ve committed to something that you just don’t want to do, you can justify wriggling out of your obligation by keeping your busy schedule in mind.

4. Be Apologetic

Maybe you’re one of the few people who has exhausted all of the options on this list. The solution for you? Say that you’re sorry. Sound too simple? Customize your apology to the situation. Let your husband know how sorry you are that you just can’t host the annual Superbowl party this year even though you really wanted to try out your new sliders recipe.

Tell your parents how devastated you are that you’ll miss the cake cutting at their annual anniversary bash. Expressing your regret and genuinely apologizing is the best way to make peace with your host. Need another reason? Saying sorry (and really meaning it) has been proven to positively impact your physical and mental health.

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5. Be Prepared to Say No From The Start

Learn the art of saying no from the start. You can incorporate any of the above suggestions. But most importantly, recognize that you are in charge. Your time is valuable. You manage your own schedule. Make sure that you really are interested in something before you say “Yes!”. Don’t be afraid to ask for a day to review your schedule, or a night to sleep on it. People will appreciate your efforts to be present, even if your answer is no. Not only is it more considerate, but it gets you ahead in life as well. And if they’re still pushing you to commit? Be firm. It is better (and easier) to say no from the get-go than to have to backpedal.

You’re now equipped with 5 ways to get out of anything! Be mindful of how you’re spending your time, don’t be afraid to say no, and squeeze in time to do something you enjoy each day. Do you have another favorite go-to excuse? Any tried-and-true strategies for escaping obligations? Be sure to share with us in the comments below!

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Tom Casano

The CEO and Founder of Life Coach Spotter

10 Ways To Believe In Yourself Again When Life Gets Rough The Online Life Coach Guide Is Online Life Coaching Worth It? Meditation Demystified: 3 Easy Tips to Get it Right Life Coach Spotter's Find a Personal Life Coach 4 Ways to Find Your Life Coach 5 Ways to Get Out of Anything

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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