Last night I was supposed to meet with a friend for dinner, but she sent me a message in the morning saying she could not make it and I am so glad she said no! Saying no is hard, even more so after you make a plan, but every time you say no to someone you are saying yes to yourself. My friend is amazing and she was not feeling well so it makes me happy that she said no to meeting with me to make time for herself to rest. To be honest, after a whirlwind over the past couple weeks, I could use some quality me-time too. It takes some bravery to turn someone down, especially someone you care about so I really appreciated her honesty. It made me think about all the times I have ignored myself in the past because I was afraid of letting someone down. Sound familiar?
Saying no can be magical. When we talk about simplifying our lives, our schedules always come to mind. Always busy with too much to do? Perhaps some of those “musts” are really “maybes.” It is not easy to turn someone down and it certainly takes practice, especially to be honest instead of scrambling to find excuses. And of course there are circumstances when we have to say yes when we really want to say no, but those “urgent” requests are rarely as urgent as we make them out to be.
When we say yes to too much or to something we do not want to do, we say no to our time, our families, our loved ones, our health, and our happiness.
Signs when you should say no instead of yes:
- When someone asks a favor and your gut reaction tells you that you really don’t want to say yes.
- When someone that drains you asks for a favor.
- When you frantically browse your calendar and find yourself saying, “let me find some time between….”
- When an occasional favor for someone turns into a commitment that takes away from what is important for you.
- When saying yes will take away from time with someone you love.
- When saying yes will take away from some much needed time to yourself.
- When you’re feeling tired or sick.
- When the thought of doing more makes you want to cry.
- When someone you work for/with is taking advantage of their position to make you do work that is not yours to do.
- When someone asks you for some help and you end up doing all the work for them.
- When you really just want to say no.
- When saying yes hurts your health or mental well-being.
- When you cannot financially afford to say yes.
- When you dread having to do the request.
- When someone is taking advantage of your kindness.
And of course, when you simply just don’t want to. That is a valid enough reason to say no and you do not have to justify yourself to anyone.
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