Yes! Yes! and Yes again! Where have all the “No’s” gone?
How many times have we been guilty of people pleasing? As tough as I’ll swear I am, what I really am is a repeat offender in the Yes Zone! It’s a problem we all share as women and I do not think it’s a bad thing unless we don’t ever learn to say no. We SHOULD be helping and have a willingness to help others but what happens is we spend a lot of time on others and leave only an exhausted shell of ourselves in the end – when we have needs that must be met.
We spend a lot of time teaching our children, especially our daughters, to think for themselves and speak up and be honest about your needs, yet we do not follow our own advice and we’re left exhausted and stressed out.
So consider the following BEFORE someone lays another request on you and you’ll be well prepared to start using our new word “NO” and without the guilt.
Don’t agree right away. Tell the person asking that you will have to get back to them, ASK for more details about the tasks, and really give yourself time to think about it. Otherwise, you’ll end up agreeing to something that you really don’t want to do, then be upset, especially after you agree and THEN finally get the full details (that you didn’t ask for and they didn’t volunteer because they wanted a yes) about what you’ll be handling – and we know this is how it works!
Resist the Flattery. Of course, you’re the best organizer, make the best brownies, and are the best volunteer ever but remember – so are plenty of other people. So consider your saying no as your giving another parent or volunteer an opportunity to shine – and you more opportunity to take care of your own needs.
Stop feeling guilty about saying “No”. There are so many demands on our time these days. So we have to learn to protect our time and be selective about who is allowed access to it. And for those people who work so hard to guilt us about not helping – learn to see right through that tactic and say no anyway.
Here’s something else: Stop explaining yourself. Avoid saying things like, “well, I can’t because I’m working or I have to do such and such for my kids”, because “guilters” will always come back with what they also have to do but how they are sacrificing their time and you should too. Just keep it simple and say, “No, I’ll be unavailable to help out, handle that, bake, etc.”.
And keep this in mind: Do you know what will happen if you say no to these people? Yes, they will find someone else. If you are truly neglecting someone, then you may need to take that into consideration. But in most cases, you have to realize you are only one person and you cannot be all things to all people.
You have the power to say no and no one should be allowed the power to pressure you or guilt you into a yes. You have to take care of yourself or you will be no use to anyone – and that would be a real shame.
So let’s make it our new practice to say “No” without guilt, “No” without explaining, and “Yes” to a life with less stress.