Are you a “Yes Woman?” Are you drowning in your to-do list and still saying “yes” to the every request someone makes of you even though you long to scream out “NO!?” There are many reasons you may say “yes” when you mean “no.” Perhaps you love to be the go-to gal, living off the high of feeling needed and desired. Maybe you are fearful that if you say “no” to a request people will think badly of you and not want to be friends anymore. Or, it might be that you like to be in control and assume that you are the only woman who can do the job right. Whatever your reason, you’ve got to stop.
Why should you occasionally say “no?” Your sanity. Your family time. Your life. Just for starters. Consider that you have been given special talents and gifts. You should be using these gifts that you have that no one else in your circle has. If you are doing all the tasks, including tasks that require skills outside of your best talents, you are likely taking an opportunity away from another woman – who may be more shy about volunteering – for her to use her best gifts to be of service. Therefore, you are being of disservice to her.
If you are spending all of your time and energy doing things for other people, you are likely using up energy that might be needed by your family and friends, or by you to take care of yourself so that you can keep being of service. It is important to prioritize which tasks and volunteer activities are really in your best interest to spend time on and that maximize the use of your best gifts.
How do you know when to say “no?” Ask yourself these questions:
- Will this task use up too much energy that I need to place in a more important area of my life (example: spouse, children, self-care)?
- Will this task be a great use of my best gifts or would another person’s gifts be better suited?
If you have even the slightest gut feeling that you should say “no” and you’re sure it’s not just fear talking (listen to your intuition and you will know the true answer), then use these tips for saying “no:”
- Speak firmly in a kind but non-negotiable tone and volume.
- Graciously thank the person for considering you, and firmly say “no.”
- You do not need to qualify your “no,” but if you feel so inclined you may briefly state that it does not fit into your highest priorities at this time or that it is not the best use of your talents.
- Offer something in return for your “no.” Perhaps suggest another task you would prefer to do, offer a timeline for when you might be available to help out in the future, or recommend another person whose gifts are more suited to the task at hand.
In the end, you need to be happy in your life before you can be of highest service to others. Learning when and how to say “no” may be difficult at first but the freedom gained will be immeasurably positive for your soul, your family, your friendships, and your community!
Leave a comment with a time you said “no” and it was the best thing for you and others.