Friday, October 16, 2009

Saying No

I didn't realize I had this as a draft in my list of posts . It was in answer to a topic presented in a "Woman to Woman" writing forum a couple of years ago. At the time I didn't know how to participate, so I left it in the folder. I gave the topic a lot of thought and really wanted to write about it.

Ever since I was a little girl, saying no has been a problem for me. I was always wanting to be first to put my hand up--to answer the question, to help the teacher, to volunteer to head up a club, whatever. When I got older I didn't outgrow the problem--it just continued: When they would pass a sign-up sheet around at Church, I couldn't stand it if no one had signed up and the only thing that would keep me from putting my name on the list was if I was going to be out of town. When someone was getting married or having a baby, I worried someone wouldn't have a shower for them so I volunteered.

I realize this probably stems from my need to try to please everyone. I wish I had the answers to how to say no, but I don't; yet I know that it is necessary because there are times we have to say no. We, as women, (or maybe just me) do so much comparing and often think we are not as good as someone who has different talents and abilities and we forget to recognize what great things we can do. Perhaps that's what gets us into trouble--I recognize I can't sing or play the piano in a meeting, so I volunteer to do the things I can, i.e., take a meal to someone, participate in the school fundraisers, etc. So I guess it is my feelings of inadequacy, and I'm trying to bury them by doing as much as I possibly can.

Like everyone else, I probably know what I should be doing, it's just finding the strength to do it. I think the answer is to embrace who we are and the gifts we each have been given. We have responsibilities and our first responsibility is to ourselves--to keep ourselves healthy both mentally, spiritually, and physically. We also have a responsibility to our families. They need us to be our best selves--and the question is can we when we are exhausted trying to be everything for everyone else? We know that when we serve others we are in the service of God, yet we must accept that we are also not to run faster than we have strength. So recognizing we need to say no before we are overwhelmed should be our goal.

I think it's all about finding balance.

What do you think? Is this a problem for you? How do you say no?


Sidenote #1: Had a great run this morning--ran my 5K 2 minutes faster than the race. Maybe the cold makes me run faster ; )

Sidenote #2: Today is my granddaughter-in-law, Scarlett's birthday. And tomorrow is her son, my great-grandson, Xander's first birthday. It's times like these that I really do not like living so far away from family. Happy Birthday guys, I love you.






























13 comments:

ShEiLa said...

I used to have trouble saying NO... and then I got overloaded and burnt out and super exhausted and I just had to learn... I couldn't say it to someone's face at first. But with time and practice... I could do it without feeling guilty. I almost find it a shame that sometimes I was so busy doing for everyone else... that my family was put on the back burner and I am sure that is not the right way... I had to put my family first... give them my best.
There are so many things that are just un-necessary and un-important.

ToOdLeS.

Heffalump said...

I'm pretty good at saying No...
Not perfect, but pretty good. Just ask my kids! ;o)
My first focus is my family. I really think that it doesn't count as service if it is for your own household, but I believe it counts. I do outside service too, but I try not to get overloaded.

Connie said...

You sound like me when I was younger! I find I have to catch myself when a sign-up sheet comes around or something needs to be done but I am getting better at realizing my limitations. I still try to do what I'm capable of doing - just don't want to be on overload where everyone around me suffers because I don't have time for them.
Congrats on your run!

Sheri said...

I know I used to be the person that could not say NO... but I like Sheila finally got so exhausted and burned out that I had to learn. I still find myself holding onto the sign up sheet, having a debate with myself... but I think I have finally conquered the need to be everything to everyone... I always think of the scripture - there is a time and a season for everything - right now, I need my focus to be my kids and I need to do a much better job at that!!

Chantel said...

What an insightful post. Thank you for putting your thoughts on here. Saying no is difficult, but we must realize our limits.

aurora said...

Ditto the exhausted and burnt out comments that finally make us realize that it is OK to say 'no.' I think that as women we are pleasers and feel that we should be able to help anyone and everyone. I am pretty sure that you have to learn it the hard way. And I have.

I still feel guilty, though...

Small House said...

I used to have the "I can't say NO" syndrome. NOT ANYMORE! I think it's my church callings I've had the past few years and the fact that I have to (don't want to) work outside the home that solved my NO problem. It about killed me doing everything. I'll certainly do everything I can in my power, but if I can't do it, I can't.

BY THE WAY....so glad you stopped by my blog. I really enjoy your blog, and am so glad to meet you!
Sandra

Valerie said...

I actually said "no" this week! And I was at the temple when I said it!! But the best part was when the person I said it to said, "That's perfectly okay! I just thought I'd see if it was something you wanted to do."
My kids like it when I say yes to dinners, however, because I always make enough for both families and they get to eat well that night!!

Corrine said...

i have a hard time saying no but many times its because i feel bad i will hurt someone elses feelings...this week i cried over turning down a job i knew for some reason i couldn't do it...but went through a lot of the motions to take it because iknew they needed me, when i called and finally told her i couldn't take it i felt like a weight was lifted...anyway, really like yourinsights...and i think you are awesome.

Natalie said...

I think you are doing awesome with your running. I am sooooooo impressed. Way to go Yvonne!

No is hard to say. I think I've learned, but it's still hard and I don't always succeed..

By the way, I posted to your love post and somehow it's lost. Anyway thougt I'd say, I love you.

Amber said...

I went through an epiphany a couple of years ago with this. I was a "yes" woman too and I was completely overwhelmed with my life and not making time for the most important things of all (my family). Since that time, I've had no problems saying no.

Lei said...

I am so glad you dug this out and shared it!!!

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