Lately, I’ve noticed that when i start to lose verbal bandwidth, one of the first things to go is my ability to say no. This is in part because saying no in a socially acceptable way is complicated, and tends to require a lot of verbal nuance.
I’m trying to fix this though, because no is…
One thing that is also sometimes possible is saying no after you’ve already said yes. I had to do this once after agreeing to something that would have put me in a really awkward position. After talking about what I’d agreed to with a roommate, she said I could just go tell that person that I’ve changed my mind and won’t do it after all. It wouldn’t have occurred to me on my own and at first I thought I couldn’t do it, but then I did and it was okay. The person didn’t get mad or anything. Depending on the person, you might be able to explain to them that saying no is something very difficult for you and that you didn’t want to say yes in the first place.
(and thank you for writing all of these; your blog is really helpful!)