On Saying No

Yo, yo, yo, I'ma teach you to say no. 
Don't say it slow, just let the words flow. 
Starts with "N" and ends with "O".
So let's get on with this show.
How's that for a greeting. I just came up with it on the fly, too. Gosh, I was born to be a straight thuggin' wangsta rappa. Okay, not really, but I sure know how to rhyme! 

Anyway, this post is really important, and if someone had written it for me a few years ago, it would have made my life way easier. 

Girls (and guys), this post is about learning to tell people, "No." I'm not talking about drugs, alcohol, or sex. I'm talking about general stuff. Those of you that find yourself struggling to have "you time" or do anything for yourself because you're so bogged down in doing things for other people - this is for you. 

Dear Do-gooders of the World, 

It has come to my attention that the word "no" is actually a very hard word to say, even though it is only two letters and one simple syllable. Why is it so difficult for us to say? What keeps us from being able to say that word to not only friends and family, but mere acquaintances and total strangers? WHY IS IT SO DANG HARD TO TELL PEOPLE NO??!?
Oh, I know why. 

Because it makes you feel bad. You feel like you're being selfish if you tell someone, "Sorry, I can't watch your seven kids because my husband and I haven't seen each other in a week and tomorrow's the only chance we will get to spend time together," or "Sorry, I have had a crazy week, and I have a massage appointment tomorrow - I can't take your shift at work," or, perhaps, something along the lines of, "I'm sorry, I just really can't afford to spend my time and money tutoring kids for free when I could use that time working another job earning money to help me pay my own bills" (not that I've had to say that today). 

We feel obligated to say, "yes" to almost every request we get, because we have been conditioned to believe that "no" is a bad word. I'm not saying we should all turn into "NO!!!! NO!!! NO!!! NEVER!!! YOU SUCK AT LIFE AND I DON'T WANT TO HELP YOU!!" Machines... but we should be a little more OK with saying that one little word. If your 5-year-old wanted you to do her homework for her so that she could go play with her friends, would you say no? Probably. If your 80 year old grandpa wanted you to give him a ride to the strip club... would you say no? Hopefully. So, then, why is it so hard for us to say no to someone when we can barely keep ourselves alive? Because we feel like we have an obligation to always always always put others first. 
You know what? Sometimes it's okay to put you and your family first. I think service is great - when you're able. In fact, I think everyone should do some sort of service, no matter how small. I do not, however, think we should spread ourselves ridiculously thin or make ourselves miserable just because we feel bad saying "no!" 

So friends, I have a proposal. The next time you want to rip all of your hair out because you said yes to babysitting 10 kids, leading the PTA meeting, taking dinner to the old lady down the street, working someone else's shift, and helping someone move to a new house, take a step back and vow to do something for yourself. Be realistic when you're deciding to say "yes" or "no." Don't feel obligated to do everything for everyone else - YOU ARE NOT SUPERWOMAN [Superwoman, if you're reading this... ignore that part]! 
Your family is your priority, and believe it or not, you can't truly help others unless you've helped yourself first. Do yourself a favor and learn to say, "no." It'll save you a lot of headaches, a lot of misery, and a lot of all-night caffeine binges and smoothie runs. Trust me. 

And once you've learned to say "no," that "yes" will be so much more meaningful.


Ali said...

AMEN!! I have the hardest time saying no....I blame the Bowler side in me....all of us in that side of the family have issues saying no because we feel guilty. My dad is the worst though, we say no for him so he doesn't go insanely crazy (more than he already is, since he's amost 50 after all!!) Hahahaha thanks for posting this! Now I'll feel better when I can't do something ;)

E :-) said...

Yeah, it stinks.

Breenah said...

I'm linking my mom to this. She's the definition of hating to say no.

Libby said...

So true! I really have to work on that one! I have to get up the courage to say that first no. And then maybe the rest will follow. (I hope):-/

Lauren said...

i totally struggle with saying no. my friend told me that I basically am the girl from 27 dresses. Except minus the beautiful james marsden.

B said...


My dear Alyx, I have no problem saying no. Ever. If B doesn't want to do it, she does not do it and will not ever do it unless convinced or paid. For example:

Random person: "Hey B, wanna go clothes shopping?"
Me: "Hell no, shopping sucks."

Of course, on more difficult/life and death type topics, I have a bit more restraint. But B is, generally, best friends with the word no. <3

Natasha Louise said...

I know the exact feeling, I love helping others but sometimes you need people to know they can't take advantage as well!! P.s loved your comment yesterday!! :)

Keri said...

Finding balance is tough! I agree that we can't say "yes" to EVERYTHING, but at the same time, I do believe that I should not put myself first. I have been guilty of too much "yes", and I have been guilty of too much "no". I'm so thankful for that wonderful gift called GRACE. :)

Alex Butts said...

I've never thought of myself as a push over, but then I do find myself struggling big time to say no. I agree, sometimes it's okay to do things for yourself. We can't do things for others if we don't haev our sanity!

Kassi at Truly Lovely said...

Cracking me up yet again. You really should've been a gangsta wangsta and all that. ;) I hear ya though... it's hard to say no when someone asks for a favor. But it HAS to be done sometimes!

Chelsea said...

Hahaha I'm still laughing from that opening rap.

Melu103 said...

hey gorgeous!
i don't even know how i got to your page
but i saw that banner on top and felt in love!

:) made my think of my bf ♥

i am in a long distance relationship
and i can relate to the plane and going
from one state to a whole different country :)
i go to Argentina every six months to see him

i hope you have a wonderful week!

Melina ♥

Sarah said...

I learned to say no to stuff last year, and it's make college somewhat easier. Haha. Great post!

Fash Boulevard said...

haha. fabulous post, love. if you get a sec, I'd love to hear what you think of my latest outfit post. xo


Sarah Kate said...

Ummm, guilty. No isn't in my vocabulary. It's so bad that if someone asks me to do something, I'll actually give them the whole bit about how much I've got going on and then say yes anyways! I'm ridiculous. And exhausted. Cory actually sat me down last week and told me I needed to slow it down or he was going to leave me. Okay...he didn't say that last part, but he was serious. So I'm gonna try. Maybe. :o)

P.S. Your friend looks extremely uncomfortable standing next to you in that photo... ;o)

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Morgan Apfel said...

I just stumbled upon this post and it's exactly what I needed to hear! I am the worst at saying no. I've been trying really hard lately to just say what I really mean, but it makes me feel like I'm the worst person on the planet. My Mom called last week and wanted to know what we were doing Labor Day, and the truth is that I just want to stay home with my husband because he actually gets three whole days off and we want to just spend it with each other and not entertain her, but instead I lied to her. How horrible am I!? So many times I say yeah sure to everything, and then I spend my time unhappy. Why is it so hard to just tell the truth? It feels so selfish I guess. But I am really, really working on this one and glad to read some encouragement, Thank you!~


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