Thursday, December 11, 2014

Learning to say no

I get asked to do things, often work-related, or sometimes volunteer things and I pipe up and say yes when I really mean no.

I am getting better about this, but not all better.

"They need me."
"If I don't do it I am letting them down."
"They can't find anyone else to do it."
"I am flattered to be asked because they value my abilities so much."

That internal dialogue is only some of the things I say to myself.

I am learning to listen to that still small voice. The one that says what my heart really needs to hear.

"You don't have to take this on."
"This is not your problem."
"You are only doing it for the money and that is not a good enough reason at this point in your life."
"You retired for a reason, and committing to something for three months (or whatever) is not really being retired".

But, really, what I need to say to myself is "It is ok to say no."

No excuses, no apologies, just no.

Sometimes I say yes because I am afraid they will never ask me again. Sometimes I say yes because I want everyone to like me. Sometimes I say yes because it is a way to procrastinate and put off other decisions I need to make in my life.

I will sleep on the current decision I am living with for one more night. Perhaps my angel has some words of wisdom for me.

I already know the answer.

I am just biding my time.


  1. saying no truly is difficult. But learning to listen to that tiny "no" voice in us is important, that way we can give more time when we say yes to something we feel really is important.

    1. I love that - saying no, allows me to say yes to something else. I am going to remember that.

  2. Oh, yes. I read your reasons for saying "yes" and nodded through it all. They recognize my talents, I can't let them down, who else will do it if I don't. And I also know the hunt for justifications for saying "no". There is a phrase I learned from my wise husband - "because I choose not to..." It's the only reason I need to say no. No explanations, no justifications. Because I choose not to. Simple sentence, so hard to say. But I'm trying.

    1. Your husband is such a wise, wise man. I will try his phrase too!

  3. Someone once reminded me that "NO" is a full sentence. People-pleasing can be a slippery slope, one I am on a lot. Saying yes to one thing means, by default, saying no to something else. Yes to work means no to family time, yes to help can sometimes mean the person who should be saying yes gets to say no. Hope you stick with your instincts!

    1. I love this. No is a full sentence. I did stick with my instinct and sent my No. And thank you for the added comment about the person that should be saying yes.....that is so true too.

  4. ... oh me too.. trying to learn that saying no is not negative... because it means saying yes to other possibilities...

    1. yes to other possibilities....that is exactly the reason I needed to say no.


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