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Learning to say No!

Do you sometimes find that you always agree to do things, then later wish you hadn't!
Do you find it's easy to say no to some people, but not others.

It's like agreeing to do something without pausing for even a second to think about whether or not you have the time, space, money, knowledge to follow through.

And then what happens is because we feel we should have said NO, but feel we also can't go back on our word. We do the things we do with a begruding attitude, our hearts aren't fully in it, you simply don't do such a good job, you delay it as long as possible.

Just say it

The best way to learn to say No, is to pause before you agree to do anything. Or even simply say, "Can I get back to you in 5". This way, you can be sure that you can have the time to make a reasonable assessment of a Yes/No answer and what it means to you.

It's easy to say yes or agree to doing something, without any real thought as to how that will invade on your own time, space and general commitments.

Over the years I have learnt to say NO, by defining my boundaries - especially with work. The discipline required to work from home means that the invites for coffee/lunch have to be limited. But  that doesn't mean I can't still do the things I WANT to do or help out from time to time, but saying NO, to me meant that I had more time to balance my work and my family.

Learning to say NO is an important lesson. All things must be considered, yourself first.

Saying NO, when you've said Yes.

Going back to someone and saying "I'm sorry, I can't" with explanation is actually far more constructive than allowing the weight of your obligations to weigh you down.

Once you have said NO, it's like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

If you don't want to let them down, apologise but give them options. For example suggest they ask someone else. Always explain clearly and honestly why you feel you have to say No.

The guilt factor.

To say NO when you would normally say yes, kind of makes you feel guilty. But at the end of the day, it's not just about you being kind and helpful.
Consider if you always say YES, if the person asking the favour has taken for granted there would be a YES because there always is. That they MAY have other people they could ask, but because YOU are always there for them, they come to you first.

Don't feel guilty about saying NO, or you'll be dealt enough to realise why you shouldn't have felt guilty in the first place.

We feel guilty about saying No because we like to be reliable, dependable and we do like to do things for other people. But instead of focusing on that guilt; do remember the reasons WHY you had to say NO.

Unfortunately, realise that you are not the grand master, and other people are out there with the same skills and more time than you have. If someone TRULY wants YOU to do the favour, then they will wait until you are in the space to WANT to help them.

Further Reading

  • Boundaries 
    Personal boundaries and being tied to other peoples boundaries.

Recommended Reading

     


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