Friday, March 22, 2013

The Word I Need to Say More

No. That's what I need to say more.

I am a people pleaser. I always have been, I probably always will be, and although there are those rare free-spirited people who truly don't seem to care at all what others think of their choices, I think that deep down, most of us are people pleasers, at least to an extent. This isn't wrong exactly, but it can definitely be unhealthy as we spread ourselves thinner and thinner and neglect our own needs and feelings just to do what we think others want us to do. And you know, a lot of the time, trying to make everybody happy will make nobody happy--least of all you.

But so often I hear myself saying: Sure, I'll do that. Yes, I'd love to. Absolutely, I have time for that. I totally agree with you.

Even while I'm thinking: But I totally don't want to do that. There's no way I have time. But I already had plans . . . even though those plans may have simply been to relax and recharge for the evening. I really don't like that idea.

Of course, it's not like every time you or I say yes, that we'd really rather say no. Most of the time, I want to do the things I say I'll do. And there are absolutely times when we need to make sacrifices of our time, our energy, and our wants to serve others. But you also can't serve others effectively at all if you're too burned out to do so . . . and I think a large part of the reason so many of us are so burned out is because we've been led to believe that we always need to be available to others, that we always need to immediately respond to every text, phone call, and email, that we always need to go to everything we're invited to and volunteer for every committee.

So, I need to practice saying no when it's appropriate and when it's honest. Not being mean about it, but being firm about my boundaries.

No, I just don't want to.
No, I don't have time.
No, I already have plans.
No, I don't agree.
No, I don't like ____.

And some of the really hard ones: No, that wasn't ok with me. No, that actually really hurt me. No, I can't support that. No, that's not what I believe in. No.

Are there people or situations in your life that you need to just say no to today?

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