The Art of Saying No

Do you ever feel the pressure to please people but at the same time stick to a schedule that works for you and flows with adequate time to get everything accomplished?

With the way my life has been changing lately (graduating college, working part time, subbing, studying, etc.) I have started to feel the weight and pressure of overbooking myself, agreeing to do to much, wanting to help everyone, and still have time to get done what I need to do in my own life to help my family and study to pass my certification tests.....not to mention my own personal sanity and getting enough sleep. 

I have always been someone who could easily say "NO" when it came to things that went against what I believed, didn't see as right, or were to overwhelming for my introverted personality. Believe me, if you call me and want me to be somewhere or doe something in an hour I will probably say no because that is to short of notice. However, I am also a person who likes to be "helpful"....... I love helping people out, especially if I am the only one available to help them (or that is what they make it sound like). So often times even if I don't really want to do something I say yes because I feel guilty or think I have to. I think this comes from my desire as an "advocate" (INFJ) to find or help a cause.....sometimes I like to be needed. However, this comes with it's share of being that I sometimes find it hard to say NO. 

I HATE to hurt peoples feelings, and I hate letting people down. If someone asks me to do something I always want to help them, a lot of times I will gladly say "YES" especially if they seem like they are in a tight spot. However, sometimes this comes at a cost to my schedule and time. Since I am currently trying to study to pass my two certification tests as well as help my family out with my responsibilities, I have to think about the time I devote to each, in relation to the other things I agree to. 

Saying NO is sometimes hard for me because I feel like I am letting people down (and I don't like disappointing people). In the past when people have made assumptions about me or said something in regards to my character that wasn't true I sometimes take it personally......its part of my nature. But I often loose sight of the fact that it hardly ever is true, and I can't let what others think of me determine the decision I make. I can't let others possible disappointment determine my agreeing to something that I don't have time for. My mom has a saying "What's good isn't always what's best" and I have learned recently that this needs to become a motto for my life:) 

For years I have always been known to tell my friends "It's okay to say NO" (because that is another thing my mom has always said to me) and now that I am put in positions where I have to make decisions based off of my desire to help people and my need to also do what is best for my life and schedule, I realize that I kind of need to start taking my own advice. However, saying NO sometimes takes practice. You know that scene in 27 Dresses where Kevin gives Jane a lesson on saying NO (because she always agrees to to much out of her desire to help everyone which comes at a detriment to her time, emotions, and schedule)..... that's what I have been trying to practice. 

Obviously I am not sharing this to say that we need to just go around saying "NO" to everyone and everything, but the art of saying NO comes with our realization of making choices and decisions based on what is BEST. Often we make decisions quickly without thinking through all the options and logistics in regards to not only what we are being asked, but also in regards to our life. In order to make "wise" decisions and learn to say NO when need be, I have started to ask myself questions:

Do I really have time in my schedule to add this? 
If I agree to this will I still have time to complete my other tasks and responsibilities? 
Will it be a detriment to my health, sanity, and sleep?  
Will this benefit me in any way?
Do I have other plans this week that take up a good bit of time?
Am I their only option or do they have other people they can ask?

Sometimes saying NO means making a hard decision for the right reasons. The more we commit to and say "yes" to the more our schedule gets busy and time gets away from us which inadvertently leads to stress, which isn't good! I have learned that I have to let go of worrying about what the other person will think because if I agree to more than I can handle I am not doing myself any favors. In some instances saying NO can be easy, but often times it is hard when another person(s) is involved. However, at the end of the day we have to remember "what's good isn't always what's best," take a breath, say NO, and move on. 

Do you struggle with saying NO?
How have you learned to say NO?



  1. I'm not a people pleaser, and I'm an automatic "no" person (basically, I have the opposite problem a lot), but sometimes I say "yes" without due thought or because I don't know how to get out of it or because I didn't think to ask for more information (I'm thinking of interviews here) and then realize how much I HATE the idea of the thing. I don't thinking being a flake is a good pattern, so I need to work on that.

  2. I've learned the art of saying no when it comes to blogging! Because I love blogging so much and want to grow that, it can be tempting to want to take every opportunity that comes my way. But do I really have time for that? Does this opportunity really line up with who I am and what I stand for? Honestly, learning to say no in blogging has been a great thing for me, because when I learn to say no, then I can say yes to the things that really matter :)