Learning to Say No

I still have a problem with learning to say no when someone asks me to do something or be somewhere. And you would think that after all these years of people seeing me sick and breaking plans that they would know better than to ask me, but they still do it.

I got roped into helping a friend this coming weekend, and already, I don't feel good, and I might cancel out. I should have said no to begin with. I don't know why it's so hard for me to say that I can't do something or I can't be somewhere. But for some reason, it is. And then I feel ten times worse for canceling whatever plans it was.

Sometimes, I feel like I should wear a large tag pin that says, "Do not ask me or invite me anywhere for anything". UGH. I'm just not reliable because of this disease. Maybe people still ask me because they remember how I used to be. I used to be that reliable person that would always be there for an appointment. I don't think I even canceled a single plan before I got sick unless I had the flu back then and it was rare. Now, it's like, just don't even ask me.

I don't like saying no, but when I can't, I just can't, and that's it. And I wish people wouldn't get mad at me for it.


It took me years to learn how to say No, but then I went through a period of being upset and overly sensitive (when I wasn't told about work meetings & work activities).

And one friendship passed away because this friend got fedup with me saying I couldn't go bushwalking or out for a long day (before my diagnosis of FM).

But a true friend will hang onto your friendship despite you saying No (many times).

For your own long term well-being, you need to be firm & decisive in rejecting requests (but still let friends know you value their friendship, & hope that the day will come when you can start joining in normal life again).
I hate the unpredictability of this so much......though lately honestly it's been more predictable, bc I just pretty much can't do anything ever anymore

still, what I have told people when they asked me to do somethign (when I still could at times) is that if they need a definite answer then I have to say, "no", but if they can wait until the last minute and won't be upset if I cannot show up, then I will say, "maybe, hopefully"
I ended up leaving her a message today to cancel or reschedule for next weekend. I'm in too much pain today and too sick. I can't do anything today. Massive flareup of everything. The unpredictability is horrible. You just never know what day you'll be dying in pain like this. I have it all today, light and sound sensitivity, both nerve and muscle pain. Cognitive, fatigue, just everything. It's bad.
I have gone through this. Sometimes having less people in your life makes it easier. But, the good news is; they still ask you. If they didn't ask you anymore...you may feel unloved. It's a no win situation.

One of the best things you can say is, "Let me call you." I agree with what Tammie said. Leave it open to possibly saying no. If they are a true friend, they will get it.
I think learning to say no is like building a muscle; the more you do it the better you are at doing it. Its a tough but often essential skill to learn when having CFS. Good luck on building that muscles stronger and stronger!

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