Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Okay to Say "NO!"

The word "NO." Only two letters, yet it is one of the hardest words to say. Why? We didn't seem to have a problem saying "No" in our childhood, heck, that was our job as a toddler. The word "No" now seems to come with baggage; a negative statement that we try to avoid. Whether we've become people-pleasers, or we just say "Yes" to appease the situation, not saying "No" can end up costing us more in our adult-hood.

Let's face it, we can't be everywhere all the time and saying "yes" to everyone's needs and demands will inadvertently take away that extra precious time you need to invest in your family or yourself. Saying "No" isn't selfish, but it seems that way at times, doesn't it? Darn guilt! There are times when I've said "Sure, no problem" and in my head I know I physically can't, but I make it happen anyway to "do the right thing."

Do we say "yes" right away because we are caught off guard? Just as we would ask to "think it over" when making a bigger decision (buying a house, accepting a new job), it's okay to do the same when relating to the smaller requests as well.

We have to reverse our way of thinking by practicing this:

  • "I'd love to help you with that on Wednesday, but I already have another commitment."

  • "Can I think it over and let you know tomorrow?"

It can simply be all in the way of how you say it that makes the biggest difference. You may also find that making a compromise works: "I may be able to do it next week though." Or you may simply realize that you can't extend yourself and that's okay too.

I've been working on this, and I'll admit: I could be a poster child for trying to do everything for everyone, but it has cost me over the years. Being a mom, I now realize that some of those choices to not say no has taken away from other areas in my life that I'm no longer willing to compromise. Try saying "No," and with a little practice you may actually feel good about it. If you don't believe me...it's Oprah endorsed!