Posted on Feb 01, 2010 | Comments 2
It is absolutely okay to say ‘no’. Say it nicely, say it with a smile, do not feel guilty over it, just say ‘no’. I used to not be able to say ‘no’.
For some reason my mouth refused to make the word and push out the sound.
When I started to say ‘no’, what inevitably came out was ‘yes’ and then my mouth would add ‘I would love to’, when all along my brain would scream ‘no, no, no’.
Saying ‘yes’ too often led to burnout, resentment and disappointment. I realized that focusing on ‘me first’ helped everything fall into place.
You will find that you have better work relationships, home life and time for yourself when you learn to say ‘no’.
At the office I was asked to do everything. If no one else wanted it, they could be sure I would be able to do it. I worked late hours and even weekends.
It was the same with my home life. My family relied on me to get a reunion together, to host the annual Thanksgiving dinner, to book planes, trains, hotels and other tickets. I was the one who baked cupcakes for the bake sales and who gathered clothes from the neighborhood for the clothing drive.
It seemed like I had said ‘yes’ to everything and everybody. Why couldn’t they do it themselves? I was indignant and resentful. Then I got sick with a cold. I could not get out of bed and I got calls asking why I wasn’t doing anything. There was a lot of disappointment on both sides.
When I was finally up and about, I went to work and was surprised that they were managing quite well. That was when it dawned on me that I did not need to sign up for every committee, for every extra bit of work. I could say â€œnoâ€ and they would be fine. I also learned that I needed more time spent on me.
I became sick because I took on too much stress and I wasn’t taking care of myself. Once I learned to say â€œnoâ€ I found so much time for myself. You will too.
You’ll have time to take that dance class, or that art class, or just have time to curl up in bed and read that book you have been wanting to read but never had time for.
People will learn to respect you more because you can say â€œnoâ€ and you will find that you will not feel resentment or bitterness towards anyone.
Saying â€œnoâ€ will be easier than disappointing yourself and the other person when you aren’t able to give it your all, because you’re being pulled on all sides from other demands.
I realized that I liked being depended on, but too much of it and I didn’t have a life left. I had no hobbies or time for myself.
Learn how to say â€œnoâ€ but also learn when to say it. You don’t need to lend money to friends if it makes you uncomfortable. You can say â€œnoâ€ if it means you won’t miss that gallery opening that you’ve planned for months on attending.
There are some people who are worth it. If it means taking time away from being with your loved ones and more time in your cubicle, say â€œnoâ€.
Find out if you are just doing someone else’s work or actually helping out that person in a time of need. You will find that by saying â€œnoâ€ to some demands on your life helps you to have a stress free environment.
Every person needs a little less stress in their life. By not saying â€œyesâ€ to everything, you will free your time so that you can put in 100% of your efforts into a project that really means something to you.
Posted in: Editorials