3 Questions to Ask Yourself to Stop Saying “Yes” When You Want to Say “No”
Hi Miracle Noodle Fans! It's Teri, once again. I am reporting from the school of Hard Knocks. I think we all have had a semester or two there. In this article, I wanted to address something that makes many of us feel guilty. It's a word that we never like to hear at the same time. I am talking about "no."
Why is this? First, let's examine the feeling that is associated with saying "no.”
What Goes On Inside Our Minds When We Say “No”
When we say "no" to something or someone, we may fear that it will reflect badly on ourselves, that we may miss out on an opportunity, or that we may never be asked to partake in some event, etc. ever again.
You see, I'm from Minnesota. In general, most of us here will help out anyone who asks for it without blinking an eye. However, repeatedly saying "yes" may mean you have to put your own well-being at risk.
I love my community. However, at my previous job I worked in the media and I was a promoter and producer of programming of arts, history, and culture. I produced multiple shows a week on it for a radio station. I'm a very social person, so I made connections easily, and soon I had the hook-up and social dynamics down for everything that happens in town.
However, because of that, my job spread over into my personal life. Why? I did not set good boundaries. Due to my skill set, I was asked to help with things outside of work I really didn't have time for, or sometimes I was just doing too much because I cared a lot about a cause, organization, or an event I covered in a story. I didn't know where the line was, and I burned out.
I had to leave a job I initially loved because that love turned to exhaustion. It turned into dread. It turned into misery. I wanted to throw up getting out of the car while heading towards the building. All because I didn't know how to say "no" and I didn't want a "no" to look poorly on the place I worked at. To this day, I have not returned to visit because I am not ready to. I put my entire being into that job, and now it's time to heal, even though I miss the people I worked with.
There are other times where I, along with my husband, have been too helpful to others to the point where we were supporting people. One time we practically paid for an entire DIY wedding for a friend. We busted tail to get it set up with catering, decorations, a DJ, etc. This person never really hung out with us afterwards.
I do not wish any of the people we helped ill will. All acts were done out of love. These are just a couple of examples. Don't get me wrong, there are times in our lives we should all do things for the greater good. It's important to know these things, these gestures are appreciated.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Say “Yes”
- Are your time, talent, and kindness appreciated?
- Do you say "yes" when you mean "no"?
- Are you taking care of yourself?
I think you know where I’m going here. I want you to ask yourself these questions before you say "yes" to the next thing you are asked to do. Unless it's laundry, feeding your kids, you know, regular stuff. LOL. As much as I detest folding laundry, I still say yes, begrudgingly.
If your time and talents are not appreciated, that's time and talent you can use to do something fun or educational for yourself or with others.
If you want to say "no" to the thing you are asked to do because it is not really doable or it will complicate things or make you unhappy, then say "no.”
If you are not taking care of yourself, hop to it! We can only be good for others if we first take care of ourselves.
Sometimes we just need to quit worrying about what people will think of us when we set boundaries. You may be surprised how people will respect your time when you do. You'll also discover how saying "no" is really saying "yes" to yourself and your loved ones.
Thanks for reading! As always, if you want to find me I am on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @fcpchick. Also, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
Teri Tenseth Market is a Certified Personal Trainer and has a Diploma in Nutrition. She is also the Social Media Manager for Miracle Noodle.