I wish I could, oh my yes, say no.
Saying no is next to impossible for me. As such, I end up committing to things that take me away from my own plans and desires. Nothing wrong with that now and again—and it’s a rather unselfish thing to do, which is good—but at the cost of losing one’s own identity or life or dreams is probably not the way to go.
The intention was to write this from a writer’s/blogger’s perspective (to remain organized and on schedule). It became apparent, however, that no matter what our profession, we need to remain focused and motivated as much as possible, despite the various events and trials in our lives. Easier said than done . . . but not done if not said.
Why is it difficult for me/us to say no—unequivocally and firmly (and without hesitation or a quivering lip or twitching eye)? For me, it’s probably because I don’t want to disappoint someone and/or feel bad (guilty) for declining to do something. For others, it may be that they don’t want to be perceived as self-centered or indifferent.
Occasionally, I will say no, but then add something to “soften the blow”.
♦ “No, I can’t help you right now, I’m working on an important project.” ♦ “No, I can’t, sorry. I’ve got an appointment.” ♦ “No, my mom’s expecting me at three.”
The problem with these? The asker can request I assist at a later time, when I am free/ready (I’ve fallen into this trap a few times, which serves me right for fudging and waffling).
My cousin has no qualms about saying no—affirmatively <he-he> and regularly. If she doesn’t want to do something, she won’t. Period. And she won’t blink an eye. (Gotta love that resolve.)
As she states, just say it. It will be difficult at first, of course, but practice makes perfect. And don’t allow yourself to be manipulated (I do, so easily). Stand firm. Stand strong. No means no. You won’t do it now and you won’t do it later.
My mother was great at manipulating me. I’d bend over backwards to do something for her (and many times I didn’t want to or see the logic of doing what was asked). Family members may be the hardest people to say no to, and this I can attest to. Of course, there are certain emotional/mental factors that can play a part, given relationship dynamics and all that, but that’s another can of worms, uh, kettle of fish.
It’s said if an honest comment (not a disparaging or criticizing one) isn’t accepted with the good intention it’s delivered, then the recipient likely isn’t a true friend / caring individual. If that’s the case, is it so wrong to say no if that’s truly how you wish to reply?
Recognize someone for who he/she is. Don’t soften your response/stance to avoid him/her, or you, feeling uncomfortable. Do the right thing.
Give thought to what saying yes entails. Do you really want to do it? Will it take away from your time (work, schedule, needs)? How will you feel after you’ve done it? Happy you accomplished something [for another person]? Resentful that you gave away your much-needed time/energy? Angry [at yourself] because—once again—you couldn’t say no? Exhausted . . . ?
. . . Don’t be afraid to say yes to saying no.