Our small group met last night and one struggle that we all seem to share is saying ‘no’. We live in a culture that loves to say ‘yes’ to pretty much everything. So, saying ‘no’ in a ‘yes’ culture is tough. In fact, there is a guilt attached to saying ‘no’.
Truth be told, I’ve had to work to change my default response to a request from ‘yes’ to ‘no’. My default has always been ‘yes’. I’ve learned that ‘yes’ can get me into trouble. I continue to struggle with it. I want to please others. To much ‘yes’ ends up disappointing everyone.
When I say ‘yes’ to one thing, I’m saying ‘no’ to another.
“You can say no with respect, you can say no promptly and you can say no with a lead to someone who might say yes. But just saying yes because you can’t bear the short-term pain of saying no is not going to help you do the work. Saying no to loud people gives you the resources to say yes to important opportunities.” – Seth Godin
Let me give you a quick example. If someone asks me to help or volunteer for a cause and I say ‘yes’, I have now moved a portion of my time and energy away from one area of my life and committed it to another.
Understanding the limitations that time places on our lives is important in understanding why we need to say ‘no’.
‘No’ protects the most important relationships and priorities in your life. ‘No’ allows you to do what is important. Say ‘no’ and reaffirm the relationship. Move on.
Below are some links that may help you say ‘no’. Remember, this will take practice.
- How to say no when you feel pressured to say yes
- How to say no without feeling guilty (audio)
- 5 Strategies that make it easier to say no
“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” (Matthew 5:37)
Do you have trouble saying ‘no’?