Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Next Year, I’d Like to Say “No”


Dear Coach,

Season is over and I finally have time to reflect on those extremely busy months of January through April. One of the blessings of living in Southwest Florida is the beautiful winter weather that draws our family and friends to our home. Although most of my many visitors were invited and welcome, some were self-proclaimed “free loaders.” Believe it or not, one couple openly admitted to traveling from friend to friend across the country in order to enjoy a “free” winter vacation.

Next year, I’d like to say “no” to these “friends” and free up my time for visitors who I truly enjoy. Any suggestions on how to do this?


Dear Sucker,

This story is not as uncommon as you may think. I’ve even heard tales of people inviting themselves as well as their friends or family who were strangers to their hosts. You’re wise to devise a plan now so you’re ready before your dilemma escalates.

To me, honesty is always the best policy. I’d say something like, “You know, I’m not getting any younger and I was overwhelmed with visitors last year. I’m sorry but I’m going to have to say no to the visit you’re suggesting. I need to take better care of myself in the future.” Guard against adding, “perhaps next year” or “maybe in the future.” Don’t lead them on. Nip their behavior in the bud if you truly don’t want them to return.

During the busy season, I even schedule my dearest friends and family. I have a rule that there has to be at least a week between visitors (I learned my lesson the hard way). As the season begins to fill, I send the schedule of what’s available to those who have not yet made a decision on a date. Although I too was very busy this year, I felt in control of the situation and enjoyed every visit. Good luck on your decision and plans to no longer be a “sucker.”

As a retired Certified Personal/Professional Coach, I’m delighted to bring my years of life coaching experience to Coastal Breeze News readers. I’m currently writing a self-help book, “Mom’s Gone, Now What?” and invite you to follow me at www.motherloss.blog. More than mother loss, the blog addresses how to live a healthy, joy-filled life.

Email questions, comments or concerns to: askcoachmershon@gmail.com. Your information will be kept strictly confidential. Your identifying information will not be used in the column or shared in any other way.

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