Friday, January 21, 2011

Learning to say "NO"

Today I feel like life is a tornado!  There is so much to be done and only 24 short hours in a day.  I tend to be a giver.  Often friends and family ask for things, and no matter what I have going on I will extend myself to do more than I really should.  I am trying very hard to learn to say no because I tend to create way too much stress for myself when I take on so much.
Today I had to take Laynee to the eye doctor to get her glasses replaced.  I no sooner got home and my friend called and wanted a ride to Decorah.  I have 2 hours free this afternoon so I instantly started trying to think of how I could make it work.  The more I thought about it I realized I would really like to have this 2 hours to myself to unwind a little and take a shower and enjoy my daughter a little bit.  At 4pm we have my niece's birthday party and are going out with my BFF for her birthday tonight.  So I very gently told my friend,"No, I can't take you to Decorah this afternoon.  I just have too much going on today."  I felt a twinge of guilt immediately after saying this because I feel like I disappointed someone.  What is my problem? Why is it so hard to say no? Really this friend can find another ride and take care of herself, I just feel like I let someone down.  I hope this feeling passes.
So, how do you disappoint someone without feeling guilty afterward?


  1. I'm replying to say I know exactly how you feel. I've yet to say 'No' without feeling any sort of guilt afterward (unless it is saying no to Cordelia-no guilt there!)
    All I know is that it takes practice, thoughtfulness towards yourself, and realizing that you are only setting necessary boundaries so you can live a healthful life in all aspects: emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical.

  2. Oh I am the same way and it is something I am really really really working on. I am working on putting up boundaries, not only for my own sanity/health but for my family's too. I have started saying "No" a lot more lately and really, at first it was HARD and I felt guilty, but the more I've said it, the easier it gets :) And I've also realized that people around me seem to say No to more things than I do ;)

  3. Lori, I feel the same way! I get told no by people, so I never understand why it's so hard for me to say no. I am going to work very hard on this one because I really need balance in my life.