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20 Things Only Sisters Who Live Apart Would Understand

20 Things Only Sisters Who Live Apart Would Understand

Do you have a sister? Being close to your sister is a blessing, as she was there from the start and has had your back ever since. Friendships between sisters are filled with highs and lows, but either way, you’ll always miss her whenever she is far away.

Here are 20 struggles sisters who live far apart go through.

1. Wanting To Speak To Each Other But Being In Different Time Zones

You’ve spent the whole day looking forward to getting home from work so you can finally catch up with your sister – only to realize it’s 3a.m where she is, and there’s no way she is awake. Eventually you get used to Skyping at the weirdest times.

2. Having To Reassure Your Parents That Your Sister Is Fine And Healthy – Every Day

Your worried parents hassle you every day to find out how your sister is doing – which is pretty annoying, because you’re not always 100% sure of the answer.

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3. Feeling Weirdly Grown Up When You Tell Her About Your Life

Once upon a time, all you and your sister talked about was toys and new games. So sometimes it feels weird when you tell her about the promotion you want, and the yoga class you just started. When did you two become adults?!

4. Planning A Skype Chat That Is Ruined By Slow Internet

You had the Skype catch up session planned for five days, but you didn’t plan for your internet to be too slow to even sign in to Skype. Maybe tomorrow night?

5. Having To Stalk Her On Social Media To Know What Is Going On In Her Life

You haven’t managed to get through to your sister for a week, and so you’ve spent the last 20 minutes scrolling through her Facebook, looking for new pictures and status up-dates. You just want to make sure she’s okay – and to see what her new friends look like.

6. Feeling Weird About Visiting Your Parents And Your Sister Not Being There

Every time you go home, you feel a little sad that your sister isn’t right beside you. It just isn’t the same without her.

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7. Trying To Talk But Having No Signal

You’re finally both free at the same time! But just as the phone call starts getting interesting, your phone cuts out. And so begins half an hour of re-dialling, missing each other’s calls and getting cut off again. How will you find out what happened when she went out last night?!

8. Using Skype To Remind Each Other What You Look Like

It’s been a long time since you actually saw each other face to face – so you feel a little teary eyed when you finally see her smiling back at you.

9. Trying To Avoid Mentioning All Of The Crazy Stories Your Sister Told You To Your Parents

After a long catch-up, your parents want to know everything you and your sister spoke about, but you wisely decide to leave out the story about her getting drunk and throwing up in a taxi. In fact, you only feel comfortable repeating about quarter of the conversation to your parents.

10. Unplanned Skyping At Four In The Morning Because You’re Finally Online At The Same Time

Yes, you were totally asleep, but you can finally discuss the season finale of your favorite show with your sister!

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11. Being Confused By The New Words And Phrases She Uses

She has picked up all of the cool words and phrases where she lives; unfortunately, you’ve only visited her twice and you have no idea what she means.

12. Sending Essay Emails Because You Don’t Want To Miss Out Anything

The email may be as long as a short novel, but you need to tell your sister about absolutely everything, from the meals you’ve eaten to updating her on your work drama.

13. Worrying About If She Is Making Friends

You know she’s the nicest, funniest person you know – but what will other people think? You spend hours worrying about if she has made friends – only for her to end a call shortly so she can go for a night out with her new crew. You feel relief and jealousy that you are staying in tonight.

14. Passionately Hating People Who Are Mean To Your Sister

She told you over two months ago that one of her bosses turned down a good idea she had, and he is still at the top of your enemy list today.

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15. Feeling Jealous Of Her Flatmate

They get to see your sister every day, they can spend their evenings cooking food and watching TV shows – you’re not sure when you last felt this jealous.

16. Noticing She Took Some Of Your Clothes With Her

Last time you Skyped, you noticed your favorite dress in the background, and you went crazy. Now that she lives so far away, it’s basically hers by default.

17. Finding Your Parents Twice As Annoying Now Your Sister Isn’t Here

You didn’t realize it at the time, but your sister helped dilute your parents. Now, it’s just you in the firing line.

18. Wanting To See Each Other But Not Being Able To Afford It

If you could, you would visit every single weekend for a few drinks and a catch up, but your bank balance won’t allow it. For now, you message each other every day and patiently wait until pay day.

19. Reminiscing On The Times You Shared A Home

All of the inside jokes, games and fights – you both love to discuss all of the great memories you have together, while wishing you could still see each other every day.

20. Realizing Nothing Has Changed Besides The Distance

She may live far away, but nothing has changed for either of you. You both can’t wait to get on the phone for a catch up, and she still knows you always have her back, even if you can’t always be with her.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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