Friday, January 23, 2009

The Art of Saying No

I want to be clear that whenever possible, I like to say yes. I've been helped immensely in my life by people who couldn't say no, and even better--they did it cheerfully! That being said, I want to post a small part of something I found on

How to Say NO, and Still Feel Good About Yourself

Many people find it very difficult to say no when someone makes a request of them. They will say yes even when they know they really don't want to do it or don't even have the time to do it. Keep the following information in mind the next time someone asks you do something so you can say no and still feel good about yourself.

1. It is important to remember that saying no is a choice. In any situation, you have the choice to either say yes or say no.

2. Be a person of integrity. To be a person of integrity means saying no sometimes. Saying no simply means that you want to stay true to the commitments you have already made.

3. Keep your priorities in mind. Saying no to the things that are not on your priority list is perfectly acceptable.

4. Saying no is not a sign of weakness. It indicates that you know your own strengths, abilities and limitations. If you don't want to say no, then learn to say 'not right now' instead.

5. Compare how you feel when you say yes to something and want to do it to when you say yes to something and really wanted to say no.

I firmly believe that there are times to say no. I have a tendency in my life to agree to too much. My ambitions or good intentions or feelings of guilt or wanting to please, etc. etc. entice me into putting too much on my plate. Then I end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed and guess what--I take it out on my family. It is a constant challenge for me to keep things balanced and to only take on what I have the time and energy to fulfill.

Something I learned a long time ago is that if I don't protect my time with my family, no one else will. There will always be some cause or demand that will take everything I have to give and will not care in the end that I didn't do what I really wanted to do--be loving and patient and fun with my family.

So, here's a thought for you and a reminder for myself: It's okay to say no sometimes so you can choose to say yes to the things that are really important. So if you want me, I'll be snuggled up with my 5 year old and some books and a cup of hot chocolate. Don't call.


Likely said...

Thank you. I needed to read this a month ago. I am one who always wants to help too.... I like the idea of protecting my time. you are right, no one else will.

It's hard to find a balance between "losing yourself in service" and saying no and being with family. Sometimes I think, gosh, there is so much service to do! I am not doing enough. Then I have to remember that my husband is the Bishop and me just supporting him and taking care of the kids and making dinner and all that jazz IS SERVICE. I am serving the whole ward.

You know this though :)

ScrapBox Organization & Storage said...

I hope I know that! It's hard to remember because I feel it too--the pressure to do and be more. And I feel guilty even saying, "Say no." But the reality is if you don't say no to some things, you will not have the time or energy to say yes to other things. And usually it's the most important things that get left behind. Thanks for understanding.