Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Joy of Saying NO

Is saying NO selfish and mean? No, in fact it is just the opposite. Saying NO spares the "asker" from getting mediocre participation (possibly with an attitude) and the "askee" from resenting the request or having unrealistic expectations of the outcome. Women in particular have difficulty saying NO as they fear being judged or being cut-off from the people asking of them.
The few things in life I regret are decisions made for someone else. Instead of doing what was best for me, I often put the needs of another ahead of my own. There were times I said yes because I didn't want to: a) hurt someone's feelings, b) disappoint them, c) risk not being liked, or d) miss an opportunity. In the end, I felt bad and did not get the benefit of any of the above.

But in times when I said no (due to putting my needs first) I felt overjoyed. It was like a weight had been lifted off my chest, and I could breathe for the very first time.

Therefore after much trial and error, I learned to put my needs first and I started saying NO! Here are some ways in which you can incorporate saying NO into your life.

Just say NO when you:
  • Don't have to do it and REALLY don't want to do it
  • Are hoping that saying yes will change how the person sees you
  • Will have an attitude while doing it
  • Don't have the time, money, or energy to do it RIGHT!
  • Need validation that the person is not willing or able to give

Saying NO is not always appropriate as we have to do some things whether we want to or not. But, it is helpful to alleviate feeling devalued, exploited, overworked and regretting decisions made for others and not ourselves.  

Learn to assert your boundaries and put your needs first and just say NO!   


  1. I can relate to this; this is actually something that I am working on in my prayer life. I am one that often overcommits my self. I am activly trying to better at it. Saying no just takes practive. But lately, I have been doing better about putting things in perspective when before just sayong no (how it will impact me or others by saying yes). That is really helpful.

  2. I am glad that you found this helpful. Often we as women feel obligated to say yes and over-extend ourselves for the betterment of others. When in fact, we do a disservice to others (and mainly ourselves) in the process. Keep at it!