Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Just Say NO!
It's "Just Say No to Drugs" week at Red's school. He comes home each day talking about why drugs are bad and the different ways he can say "no" when someone offers him something. It's got me thinking... I need to try this "just say no" stuff. Without going into all the crazy details, I'm a tad overwhelmed because I can't tell people "no". I feel bad if I have to tell someone "No, I can't do that". I'm a people pleaser. One of the reasons I haven't been visiting blogs the last few days is because I'm over scheduled. Too much on my plate. I will get around to the blogs, I promise... but probably not till Thursday :( Sorry...
So, in order to help myself out, I'm starting a new campaign: All of the things I have volunteered for are worthwhile things. But they take time away from my family and my home. It's time to stop. I'm putting my proverbial foot down! The real problem here is: I'm a wimp. Which is why I need your help. Seems like I'm ALWAYS asking for your help... I guess you all give great advice :)
So, now that I've buttered you up, tell me, how do you make priorities? How do you find balance in your lives? Do you tell people no? Or do you run like a crazy person trying to do everything everyone wants you to do till you feel like you're going to fall over? That's the boat I'm in. I'm looking for balance people... help me find a way to not be the perpetual volunteer! How do you tell people "no" without feeling guilty??

16 comments:

Summer said...

Sometimes you can't say no without feeling guilty. But you do it because you know you're already over booked or over worked. I use to say yes to everything, but then came a melt down and I finally was like, if I can't do it they'll find someone else who can.

Nancy Face said...

I finally learned after too many years of frustration that it really is okay to say no! In the past I occasionally got walked on or taken advantage of because I was a wimp, and that's a crummy feeling! Sometimes it was simply a matter of too many well-intended requests for help, and it just caused a lot of stress or took too much time away from my family. I'm ashamed to admit that I sometimes agreed to do something because I didn't know how to refuse, then didn't follow through. Thankfully, I haven't done THAT for a long time!

If I'm asked to do something, and I want to but don't know if it will fit my schedule, I ask the person to call me later, after I've had a chance to really check the family's calendar. If it won't fit in, it's easier to kindly refuse after having time to think about it.

Whatever it is that you have to cut back on for the benefit of your family, most people will accept your answer graciously if you give it with kindness and honesty. If they don't accept your answer, it isn't your fault!

I believe in always accepting church callings...if you possibly can! But I also believe that if you already have three callings and are asked to do an additional one, it's okay to negotiate, haha! (Been there, done that!) :)

Amber said...

I am snorting over your banner. This past year, I became WAAAAAY overscheduled and have learned to just say no. The way I avoid feeling guilty is I think of the nervous breakdown I would otherwise incur. ;-)

Thalia's Child said...

I have problems saying no too - in fact most of the people I like the best are in the same boat as I am - constantly over-committed. It has led to the saying 'helium hand' - which is a condition where if no one volunteers, you automatically do because someone has to do it.

One of my girlfriends has a very pretty bracelet. If you look closely, there's a fishing weight on it. It's to remind her that she can't do everything and that every once and a while she has to say no.

JustRandi said...

I do the same thing as Nancy Face. It buys me some time to think about whether I really want to do it.

Sometimes I've noticed it's not me they want, but a warm body. Several times when I've used the "gotta check my calendar" routine, whoever was asking just nodded and turned to the person next to me and asked her.
Hey, whatever works.

Yvonne said...

I've struggled with this my whole life, so I sympathize with you. I think others have offered some great advice. Balance is the name of the game. It's just not fair to our family or ourselves when we are so busy doing for others that we can't take care of ourselves.

Good luck.

Holly said...

I usually feel a bit guilty when i say no, but I've learned to do it anyway! I help in my kids classes, so I say no to the PTA volunteering. They still call and ask and I just say, "I'm sorry, I can't help this time."

I like Nancyface's idea of saying that you need to check the calendar, so please call. I'm going to start using that one.

I get asked to sub in primary a lot it's not always convenient for me and sometimes I'll just say that I can't. Other times I'll ask if I'm the first person they've called. If I'm one of the first I often say, "If you get to the end of the list and don't have anyone, call me back, and I'll see what I can do." I rarely ever have anyone call me back.

Kimberly said...

This is an automated blog comment: “I am sooooo far behind! I’m catching up on all my blog reading this afternoon but don’t have the time or energy to be creative with my comments. I read. I loved. You’re fab. Seriously.”

You're brilliant, babe!

Tonya said...

Oh my gosh, I can so relate. I am a people pleaser myself and am just starting to learn how to say No. I'm still not very good at it.

Elder Oaks gave a great talk at conference about "Good, Better, Best" It really made me think about what I've been spending some of my time on. It's mostly all good stuff but I could be doing better.

Don't be to hard on yourself for not keeping up on your blog reading. I understand and I'm sure everyone else does as well. I have barely been keeping up lately myself.

kailani said...

I have a hard time saying no to people. And when I do, I feel bad. I end up volunteering for too much sometimes. Sorry, I'm no help!

diana said...

yep, saying no is hard to do. i'm better at it now. what has helped me is giving myself time to think about whatever the situation is before i say no or yes.

i just tell whoever asked me to do something that i need to think and pray about it and i'll get back to them. this gives you the time to really think about it - the pros, cons, and how it affects the family and schedules. it also gives you time to ask God for guidance.

i still say yes at times when later i wished i had said no, but i do feel better at realizing what my priorities are and what doesn't fit into that list. good luck with your campaign =]

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I parachuted off the volunteer express years ago.......and it feels good. I do unexpected things that fit into my schedule but I don't go out of the way like I used to. That's the problem with me....I'm an all-or-nothing kind of person and I tend to obsess over details and micro-manage and stress because I think things have to be perfect. No. No more.

Know what else? Sometimes I tell people I'll do stuff thinking it'll be an easy, breezy assignment only to have it turn into hours of work and/or costting a buttload of money too. Nothing is as ever cheap or easy as you assume when you agree to it.

Jean Knee said...

I look kinda crazy and when anyone seems like they're gonna ask me to do something I twitch

Lauren said...

Well I wish I could give advice, but I can't because I am just the same as you. I can never say no to people...and then it overwhelms me :( I am sorry!

wynne said...

HA! Saying "no" feels GREAT! You should try it at once! No, no, nononono.

there is a song by KT Tunstall ("Balck Horse and a Cherry Tree") you should sing along with for practice.

And as far as the guilt--you're only saying no 'cause you already have enough to do. Why should you feel guilty about taking care of yourself? You shouldn't! The more you practice, the easier it gets. Tell yourself, "I'm worth it!" if that helps.

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

melissa,
your picture/saying here is so funny and true. learning to say yes to some things is better than saying yes to everything. good luck hon, kathleen :)