I am a “YES” person. A people pleaser. One who likes to help others and spend time with friends. I rarely say no and find myself saying yes to a lot of things in my life. Yes to regularly volunteering in my children’s classroom, to class parties and to cutting out materials from home. Also to volunteering at my church, hosting a community group, leading a women’s book study and meeting on a regular basis with a friend. I chauffeur my children to play dates, run errands and my hubby and I set intentional time together.
But by spreading myself thin one too many times, I have learned I also need to say NO!
And with this realization I have set into place what I call NO Days — days I give myself a free pass to say no! I have discovered these NO Days have helped me give a more committed yes to the things that matter most. Saying no saves my sanity when things get overwhelming and schedules get over packed. Because I can now see that by saying yes to too many good things; I am also saying no to the best.
It Feels Good to Say NO!
My old self feared hurting people’s feelings or letting people down by saying no when asked to do something. I feared making others mad or upset so much that I would say yes to the detriment of my mental and emotional well-being. And a horrible feeling of resentment would quickly creep in once I had said yes to something I knew deep down I shouldn’t have. So, how does this people-pleasing, always-ready-with-a-yes individual find a way to say NO?? I set No Days in place.
Setting NO-Days In Place
It can look different from week to week but No Days are part of my monthly rhythms and routines. A No Day is a day I say no to all the extras or requests that might be asked of me. Sometimes, I set in a No Day ahead of time when I look at the calendar for the month and my head starts to spin with all the colorfully written plans. Other times, a week will fill itself with spontaneous and unplanned events and I will declare a No Day the night before. It gives me something to look forward to and it allows me to easily say no to someone’s request. Yes, I literally tell them no because it is my day to say no to things; simple and easy!
10 Steps to Help You Say No
My No Days make it simple for me to say no, but what about all those other days? Does that mean I say yes to everything else? Absolutely not!! So, I came across a really great visual and simple steps that help me work through when to say yes and when to say no. https://tuulivalo.blogspot.com/2019/02/unique-say-no-to-love-quotes.html
- Be clear of your vision (what is best to say yes to)
- Know the implications of saying yes
- Realize saying no is okay
- Use the medium you are most comfortable with (text, face-to-face, email)
- Keep it simple- you don’t have to explain yourself
- Be respectful in saying no
- Provide an alternative if possible
- Make yourself less accessible- provide your contact only to those important to you
- Write everything down first to process
- Delay your response
Times I ALWAYS Say No
As I have become more comfortable saying no and truly understanding what are the best yeses for me; I have also become aware of situations where I will always say no:
- A person only conveniently remembers me when they want something from me.
- It goes against my values or makes me feel uncomfortable
- I find myself only wanting to say yes to impress a person or to make myself look good.
- It interferes with my family.
Let’s Be Real
We are moms, so we all know even the best laid plans fall short or get ruined. I am not so committed to saying no that I let it get in the way of rational thought. If a friend truly needs me, I will be there. Or if an emergency of some kind comes up I will say yes.
But these No Days give me freedom to take care of myself and focus on what’s best. And then I can be a better mom, wife and friend! If I do say yes, you truly know I will show up fully engaged and ready to rock my yes!