1. If someone requests your time, simply state that you will think about it and contact he/she later. We tend to feel obligated to give an immediate response but taking the time to respond later after you check your datebook helps to protect your personal time.
2. New friends do not need to know every detail of your personal life so soon. Try to give the new relationship time to develop and gain your trust and respect.
3. Learn to say “no.” If you do not have time to babysit a friend’s child, state that you are not able to help today. No excuses needed.
4. Manage your personal time well. If you plan your day for yourself, do not allow unnecessary or non-emergency interruptions including phone calls and email. Write down your daily plan and stick to the plan.
5. Try not to avoid people. Avoiding adds more stress. You may honestly explain that you are managing your time or cannot meet with your friends which is better than avoiding someone to guard your personal time.
by Diana Neuner, LMFT