Be Honest About What You Need
"No one needs to cave to pressure to interact with friends and family. It's all about communicating your needs," said Rachel Dash-Dougherty, LCSW. In general, be clear that you appreciate them thinking about you and that backing out of a call isn't about them "but about your own need for self-care," Scarlett said.
You can do this by using the following formula: "how you are feeling plus a positive personal need," said Jessica Small, MA, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist with Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. An example could look something like this:
- How you feel: "I've been feeling overwhelmed trying to get my work done and homeschool the kids."
- Positive need: "Would it be OK if I start calling you in the evening after work and the kids are asleep?"
"This formula avoids the other person feeling criticized, blamed, or hurt while the positive need part gives direct feedback on how it can be different," Small explained.