Monday, May 24, 2010

Just say "No"

All my life I have been a pleaser. I take on 1,000,000 things I cannot accomplish just because I can't say, "No, thank you." This has lead to me gaining weight, spending money, owning things I don't like or want, and tied up in situations that gave me hives.

This has all changed.

I don't know if it is my age or just my season in life, but "no" is getting easier and easier to say. Today I was asked to judge a writing contest. I have done this for ten years, usually at the last minute. It takes a lot of time and effort as these are children's and teen-agers' writing and the level of authorship is, er, interesting. It is important to me that I do my very best to be fair and encouraging to each. So, nearly a week is lost while I read 40-50 short stories and respond to them each. The usual email arrived this morning asking me to judge. It took three seconds for me to decide "no" was the best answer.

Even I was shocked.

I am learning to turn down invitations and offers galore. Why, just today, I turned myself down on seconds to the warm banana bread.

Is it easy for you to say "no" or do you give in? How do you do it gracefully?


  1. I must admit to saying no to a lot these past few years. Having a chronic illness gives one a good excuse but I should have been better at it long ago.

    Now I have days and days when there is nothing that HAS to be done or places I must GO. I'm at a time of life where I need more reflection.

  2. Gosh I hope I am not one of the things you need to say no to and cannot (because I would want you to always be true to yourself). When I was young (before therapy) I said yes to everyone. Then I went through therapy, now I am brutal. I never say yes, unless I truly want to. I am much happier now xoxox Clarice

  3. Such a little word, such a big change when we say it more often. Had to chuckle at your ability to say no to that second piece of banana bread!

    Saying no gracefully? I'm learning to smile when I say it and not feel defensive. To me that's key. Sometimes people do purposely put us on the spot, but I'm learning not to react to it as I used to. I hated feeling 'trapped'. But when I don't let that button push anymore, then I can respond with more love and ease.

    It's taken a long time, and I'm not there 100% yet.

  4. I only say "yes" when I want to now! LOL Therapy didn't help me, but turning 54 did! :)

  5. If I don't say "no" when I need to, I end up doing the job and resenting it and then I certainly am not doing it as "unto the Lord" so I am getting better at thinking first (instead of opening mouth without thinking!) and saying "no" when that's what's best.
    Only took 48 years for me to get to that point, but better late then never, right?


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!