Hi friends. Happy Monday! I hope you are enjoying the start of winter with some snow on the ground. Bode has been going absolutely nuts in it, which is great because he is finally tired at night but also stinks because he wants to go out in the cold 500 times per day. Any other dog owners experience that? Ugh, bundling up and un-bundling up is a laborious task some days. I really should just learn to say no, but he’s just so cute!
Speaking of a laborious task, I wanted to talk today about learning to say no. Why is that laborious? It’s actually not. Instead, saying yes to everything & everyone everytime is exhausting. I’m not sure if you are in the same boat but I figured I’d try and sort out my issues with the word “no” here in case you can relate. Not to mention, it’s been a while since my last mindful monday and figured why not.
Learning to Say No
No is one of the easiest and one of the hardest words to say. Why? No idea.
But when you think about it, it is so easy to tell your dog no when they beg for attention excessively, or when your husband asks you if you want chicken fingers for dinner or if your mom asks you to do something you really don’t want to do, like take out the trash. Those are giveaways, we will say no because we don’t want to do them AND we are saying no to people close to us who we know will love us no matter what we say.
Now, imagine a random dog on your walk begging for attention, or your friend from the gym asking to grab chicken fingers or your neighbor who is going on vacation asking you to take out the trash….what would you say them? In my case I’d say yes. Why? Because I don’t want to let them down and saying no seems that will make me a terrible person. Can you relate?
I’m learning more that if I say no, it does not make me a terrible person, instead it sets limits, boundaries and respect for myself and others. It doesn’t push people away. Instead it makes them realize that I, too am human and not a doormat.
The Stress of Yes
How many times have you agreed to something that in turn stressed you out to no end. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t say yes, as we can’t be hermits or rude human beings. I mean, I guess we can but that’s not how I want to live my life. However, sometimes saying yes to something that is just not necessary, like helping a friend when you yourself need some help, is just going to make you resentful and stressed out. While some stress is inevitable, a stressed yes may be just the thing we need to do without.
How about when you leave the answer up in the air until the last minute? While you may say yes or you may say no, the uncertainty is the real issue here. This uncertainty stresses everyone out and is a total lose-lose, I would not recommend it (from experience). This is something I need to work on. If we know the answer, instead of letting it fester we should just answer. In the end, we end up hurting someone else OR making them angry for no reason.
I get it, we’re worried if we say no that we are going to lose friends, jobs, opportunities, etc. But sometimes a no will do the complete opposite. It will give you satisfaction, trust and respect from others and create other opportunites. We say no to our closest friends & family afterall and they still stick around us, so what makes us think others would think less of us?
The Year of Learning to Make Sense of No
I’m not about to start saying no to everything and miss out on some awesome adventures, experiences & opportunities. A lot of my yeses have lead to such things. However, I am going to try my best to be more decisive and be okay with using the word no. Afterall, when done appropriately, no can be such a freeing word.
So, while I know that I should say no more, I’m still working on it. I also need to learn when to not say no, especially as it comes to opportunities and those closest to me. It’s a fine line and I’m crossing it every day. Are you?
I’m dedicating this next year to learning when to say no and pushing past the uncomfortable moments when I might say no, but should say yes instead. What does that look like? Let’s find out.
Have a great week!