Just Do You

Because we always have choices…

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The Art of Saying No

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on October 20, 2010


Last week I was giving my Dad a ride. He was on his cell phone talking with a person he had committed to driving somewhere. My Dad’s car had to be worked on unexpectedly. He rescheduled and apologized profusely. He was telling me, after he hung up, how much he hated saying no to people. He genuinely looked pained over having to change his commitment. You have to love a person who follows through.

What I can truly appreciate about my Dad is that he can and will say no. It may pain him to do so, but you better believe that no one is going to interfere with bowling night. Even if I ask him, he will not immediately say no. Instead he will simply say that it is bowling night. He would be correct in assuming that I will immediately make the connection to the “no.” Unless it was a life or death emergency, he is confident that I would not insist on pressing for whatever favor.

If you are a yes person, and you know who you are, it is important that you have healthy boundaries and have also learned the art of saying no.

People will come to you because they KNOW you will say yes and they know you are reliable. How can you balance the need and desire to be a giver and the need and desire to take care of yourself?

It starts with knowing that even if you say no to someone, they will more often than not, find a way to get what they want or need elsewhere. You are responsible for you and the people you are a primary caregiver for (like children or older parents)…not the rest of the world.

You don’t have to lie about why you are saying no and you don’t have to explain yourself. Sometimes it is enough to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t this time.”

And yes, I have been on the receiving end of major guilt trips from saying no, but that to me is a sign of a person who is not thinking of my well-being. They are only thinking of what they need and are resorting to manipulation to get it. That is a person not deserving of the time I would sacrifice. That doesn’t mean that I don’t ever cave in those situations, but it helps me create more healthy distance for the future.

Sometimes I would end up saying yes and spending a lot of time and energy wishing I hadn’t and trying to figure out a way out of it. It adds unnecessary stress.

Only you know what you can handle and what you can give. Figure out a balance that works for you. You are in charge of the choices you make…don’t be dragged into them. If you are not used to saying no, it will take some time. No worries, though, you will find that it gets easier.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts.  Won’t you share yours?

This is a re-post of one of my first blogs from January.  Since many of you weren’t readers then, I thought I would share one that got lots of emails.  Thanks!

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One Response to “The Art of Saying No”

  1. Great topic Georgianna…

    Be really, really good to people but also be true to Self.

    Bowling is KING!!!

    Jim

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