As part of embracing living a simplified lifestyle I really need to learn to say NO. Although this word only comprises of two letters, it seems to be the hardest word to say out of all the words in the dictionary. But it is ok to say no sometimes especially if what you have be asked to do is going to infringe on your family time, your me time or you won’t be able to give your full attention to what you are being asked to do.
This has been a hard learning curve for me to learn how to say yes to some things but importantly say NO in a way I don’t feel guilty for saying no and that the person who is asking me to do something understands that I am not being funny with them but there is a honest reason why I can’t do something.
Since learning how to say No
- I only work 5 hours a day. (I work for myself and from home so this gives me time to concentrate on other activities)
- I don’t work in the evenings or weekends at all (not on Mommy Emu, the school PTA work) which has enabled me to have complete focus on our family time.
- I have time to volunteer raising money for my girls school and volunteer with different church activities.
- I have time for me! (reading books, going for walks, catching up with friends, taking a long bath or just listening to music)
- I am able to attend all events and plays that my children are involved in. (Even being the taxi driver for my 17 year old which gives me the chance to catch up and check in with him while we are on our journey)
- Start and end with a positive – I know this sounds daft but it actually makes the person you are saying no to feel better as well as your self. For example when someone starts asking you if you would be able to do something, start with something like “that sounds like fun” or “what a fantastic idea”. Then at after they have told you everything that’s involved reply “thank you for thinking about me but unfortunately I am not available on that day but please think of me next time” or ” I would of loved to but I am busy that day, please let me know if you are doing it again because I would to take part next time”.
- Don’t answer straight away – Sometimes when I asked to do some things, I need to think about it before I can give answer or I need to check with my husband whether he is available to come / look after the children. I have learnt that people don’t mind you not giving them an answer straight away as long as you give them an answer within a reasonable time limit. Then if you do need to say no people are more likely to understand because they no you have gone away and looked into it or think about it.
- Change how you say No – There is always one person we all find it hard to say no to sometimes because they make you feel so guilty for saying no. I personally find these situations hard so I ask if I can give them an answer tomorrow and if the answer is no rather than yes. I send them an email or phone them as saying no to them this way stops the guilty feeling they impose on me.
- Refer someone else – There are lots of things that I feel is not for me or I have other commitments on at that time but as well as saying no I am unable to do what is being asked, I refer someone I know who might be able to help. This way you are not feeling like you are letting anyone down because you know that someone else will be able to help.
Although its hard saying no, I have found just by changing a few ways I say no has taken away the guilt and now I am not a worn out women, running around in circles and not seeming to get anywhere or get anything done.
Do you ever find it hard saying NO? What techniques have you found works for you to say no without the guilty feeling.