How To Say No!
I can’t tell you how many parties I have attended, trips I almost booked, events I showed up for, time I have wasted, etc. all because I did not know how to say NO! I am or I WAS a “Yes Girl”. Yes I will go with you to that party, Of course I have time to help you, and Oh yes that sounds great I will be there!!! UGHHHHH!!!!! That was me for so long, I was a people pleaser. I said yes because I did not know how to say no! It sounds ridiculous but how many of you have been saying “yes” to people and situations that deep down you are screaming NO to? I am sure many of you can relate. So why do we say yes instead of saying no?
Saying Yes Is Easy…
Telling your friends and family yes means you are nice. No one wants to be known as Negative Nancy or Mean Gene. We want our family and friends to love and approve of us (even if we don’t admit to it). So we say “yes” to their request and make time we don’t have to accommodate them and their feelings.
Yes To You…No To Me…
Other people’s feelings, especially family and friends are important to us. We love Aunt Sally, and don’t want to upset her by declining her invitation to attend her Tupperware party. Cousin Pete is our favorite, so when he always asks to borrow money (that he never pays back) we lend to him anyway. Sarah has been our BFF for years, so when she asks if we can pick up little Johnny from daycare, we say yes! Never mind the fact that it is 30 minutes out of our way! We are saying YES to everyone, EXCEPT ourselves!
More Harm Than Good.
When we say yes to people and situations that we really want to scream NO to, we are doing more harm than good! When we reluctantly give of ourselves it causes resentment toward the other person. Yes you love your BFF Sarah but you really didn’t have time to pick up little Johnny. Now you are rushing to get to the other side of town (probably cursing the entire way) to do a favor that you didn’t have time to do. By the time you see Sarah you are not feeling all warm and fuzzy. You probably want to scream at her for adding more stress to your already stressful day! But guess what…It wasn’t Sarah that put you in that position, it was you.
We Always Have A Choice.
When someone asks you for a favor, money, your time, or whatever, you ALWAYS have the option of simply saying NO. It will not make you a monster or a horrible person. It will however, make you honest and a lot less stressed out. We have to learn to say YES to ourselves! When I say YES to the dinner invitation that will cost me 50 bucks, I am saying NO to my carefully planned budget. Saying YES to volunteer my time to a friend, says NO to spending more time with my family. When I say Yes to any person or situation that I DO NOT want to say Yes to, then I am saying NO to my feelings, emotions and time (and sometimes my sanity). And that is just not healthy or helpful.
There are plenty of ways to say NO without feeling guilty or making the other person upset. We can decline the invitation by simply saying “that sounds like fun but I won’t be able to attend” or “I would love to help but I just don’t have the time”. However you decide to say no, just make sure you are prompt about it. Don’t put off saying no hoping they will forget (because they will not). Be upfront and if the answer is no, then tell them no (in a polite way) right then and there. Or you might get a few reminder emails or texts saying “hey girl, are you going to make the potato salad for my party”. Your first reaction will probably be to ignore the text just to put it off a little more. Or worse, you will agree to do it and forget (b/c you didn’t have the time). That will ABSOLUTELY cause another problem that did not have to occur. And the next thing you know you and your BFF Betsy are arguing over Potato Salad (a lesson learned from a Wonderful Soul)! So be quick about it and just say no.
You don’t have to scream it at them, just because that is how it is happening in your head (lol). You can very nicely say No, I can’t, would love to but…and provide an explanation as to why you can’t help. You don’t have to give them some long drawn out speech or tell them your life story. Telling them that you “don’t have the time” or “you’re on a tight budget” so going out to celebrate at a fancy restaurant is impossible for you right now (unless they are paying, then GO!, lol) will work just fine. Most of the time people will understand and respect you for being honest.
It’s All About You!
Most importantly I hope you guys really understand that sometimes when we say Yes to others we are saying NO to ourselves. It’s totally ok to put yourself, your feelings, and your emotions first! You are a much better YOU, when you are less stressed and more focused. And part of staying focused is sometimes just saying No!