It’s Okay to Say No

Most of us are people pleasers who rarely want to let anyone down. Saying no can be so terribly uncomfortable for us. When we finally do get the nerve up to say no we tend to over explain ourselves and go on and on about why we have to decline. But in the spirit of protecting our peace, let me tell you it’s okay to say no and nothing else!

It's okay to say no

It’s Okay to Say No

Maybe it’s because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or have anyone think poorly of us, but we feel the need to come up with excuses when we say no. Sometimes we even embellish them and make them seem so great that there’s no way possible anyone could expect us to do anything but say no. I bet you’ve been in that position before. You’re asked to do something that you don’t want to do. You talk it over with friends and they encourage you to say no and then say, ‘x.y.z…’ so there’s no way around it. The person you are saying no to will have to understand!

There’s a Better Way

There is a better way! Be honest without being hurtful. If it’s an invitation and it’s something you don’t want to attend for any reason, just say thanks but I’ll have to pass this time. Or thank you for the invite, I won’t be able to attend. No need to go into long, drawn out explanations. A simple yes or no is all that is needed. Now, if you are asked why, well, that’s a different story. I’ll get to that in a minute.

You might be asked to be on committees, serve others in some capacity, take on a task, pet sit, house sit, babysit, etc. What if you don’t want to do it? It’s OKAY to say no. Pleasing others should not come at the cost of your own peace. Ever. It may change the dynamics of a relationship and that can be uncomfortable but necessary. It is simply not okay to be taken advantage of. At any age.

Saying No to One Thing is Saying Yes to Something Else

It’s true, saying no to one thing really does mean you are saying yes to something else. Maybe it’s the break you really need, maybe it’s the quiet time at home with family. It doesn’t matter what it is but I sure hope your peace is protected. It feels good and is empowering. Like any muscle, the more you use it the stronger (and easier to use) it gets!

If You Have to Give a Reason…

If you are pressed to explain yourself, my advice is to be as honest as possible while still considerate. Maybe you have been invited to a girls night out but you are uncomfortable because you don’t really know the other women and you have some social anxiety. It’s okay to say, thanks for the invite but I’m going to need to pass. The friend who invites you pushes you, asking why, you SAID you never do anything and want to get out and have fun. Your response could be: I really appreciate you thinking of me but this time it’s just not going to work out for me, maybe another time. End it at that. If this is a good friend you can explain you feel anxious in these situations and you’d prefer a smaller group, etc. But keep it as honest as possible. No need to make up excuses. Being honest earns respect. If it’s a friend you really enjoy, suggest a time when the two of you can be together and thank her for thinking of you.

Maybe you are asked to chair a committee, take on a new project at work or church, etc. If you feel the slightest inkling that this is something that is not going to be a good fit for your life SAY NO. I’ve been asked to do things that in the past I would have felt obligated to agree to and I said NO and the world continued to turn on its axis just fine. Again, a simple thanks so much for thinking of me but I’ll have to decline is just fine.

There will be things you’ll want to do but may have a but of anxiety about taking on, those are the things that you might want to say yes to! Doing new things can be uncomfortable but if it’s something that interests you then go for it! I believe personal growth is so important at all stages of life but especially at mid life. It’s essential to learn and try new things. Just be mindful of the cost and your peace. Pray for the wisdom to know and do the right things! It makes life much more enjoyable!

I hope you enjoyed today’s topic! This will be the last for a few weeks. We leave on Friday for Italy and while I planned to have a few posts ready to go before I leave, I realized that was keeping me from doing some other things. I gave myself permission to say no to myself! Let me know your experience with saying no, this is a topic I believe we can all relate to!

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