Not having boundaries is how so many of us have learned to demonstrate our commitment to our career or our desire to be liked and loved. This is toxic to our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing, though, and learning to say no when we need, should or want to is crucial.

None of us has the personal bandwidth to say yes to anything and everything. Ignoring our bandwidth leads to resentment, overwhelm, anxiety, shame and burnout. As a result, we must be more discerning with how we spend our bandwidth, our capacity to be, do and have the things we need, desire and deserve that’s based on how we spend our attention–time, energy, efforts and emotions.

Here are ten scripts for saying no so that you can respect and nurture your bandwidth.

  1. I don’t have the bandwidth for that.
  2. I don’t have the bandwidth to do that in the next X days/weeks/months.
  3. Right now, I’m feeling X, so I’m not going to be able to do that.
  4. At any other time, I’d love to, but I can’t. Have you asked X?
  5. I can’t put anything else in my calendar this month, but I’d love to do that with you sometime. Will you call me when you’re going again?
  6. Oh, that sounds fab, but I’m committed to being in bed by 10 pm on weekdays. But thanks for the invite.
  7. I really appreciate you asking me, but my time is already committed.
  8. Past experience tells me that this is definitely something I shouldn’t get involved in.
  9. I hold my hands up. I know I’ve given the impression that I’m up for anything, but thanks to it all catching up with me recently, I need to take a step back for a while.
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