Sunday, January 11, 2009

No, thank you.

Do you feel the need to justify yourself when you say "no" to someone?

If you don't, that's fantastic.  Please hang out around me and make sure your confidence rubs off on me.

I find myself trying to convince people that I have a great reason to not want the products or services they're offering, or to not want to volunteer for them, or to not want to give money to them.

But I'm changing.  I'm a recovering justifier.

I received an e-mail a couple of days ago from someone who sells skin care.  She is a very nice lady who took something I offered on Freecycle awhile back.  She was inviting women to an event promoting their company and product, and she let me know she'd be sending these invitations monthly, and to opt-out if I prefer not to receive them.

So I clicked "Reply," and I wrote, "Hi--thank you for thinking of me, but I prefer not to be on this list."  And then I signed my name and sent it.  No explanation, no justification, no convincing.  I just politely said "No."  And boy did it feel good.

As I've been writing this, my fingers have been itching to explain to you my reasons for declining.  And once again, I'm not doing it, because it's not necessary.

"No."  Such  a simple, perfect, sufficient word, even when reworded politely.

I think I'm growing up.


Shannon said...

I do the same thing! I am working on it too.

Heather said...

Great Post! I'm a recovering "people pleaser" (that's what I call it).

The Lord has worked it out of me over the years; allowing me to get in over my head because I didn't say no when I should. My trouble is the deepest desire not to dissapoint anyone. It's not for need of being a hero or looked at with's simply because I don't want others to feel hurt. Everything I do, say, write and just be, seems to stem from this in my inner core. I said, The Lord continues to work it and mold me; enabling me to really understand how to:

Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'...~from Matthew 5:37.

The rest of this verse says thatanything else comes from the evil one. I know that Jesus wasn't telling us we're devils ;o). I believe that when we try to justify, reason, push beyond the "simple's"; we make room for the evil one to start stomping in our mind and in the mind of others.

Okay...sorry for that bit of "over the top" on your page...I just had to get it out and figured I was already here. (see....I was just about to explain why I needed to get it out here...nevermind ;o>)

Bless you, girlfriend and fellow mommy; with a wonderful enlighting and love filled day!

♥ Heather

Deb said...

Oh yes, I think this is common among women in particular. We are so hardwired to do for others. I have a very difficult time not just saying "no" but not seeking out ways to "help out", and as a result I overextend and get nothing done! Must work on setting limits. I'm not a do-gooder, I just don't know what my limits are!

~hon~ said...

Oh I agree so much. Explanations make you guilty of something like you're protecting a certain something that you're hiding so unless they ask you why, leave it at yes or no. Wise decision you've made there.

I have learned from this, as well. We guard our hearts whenever we lessen our words. And I do the same now. As what they say, anything you say can be used against you so I'd rather speak less.

Wise post! I admire your courage with your posts. Just outstanding.


Desert Grace Boutique said...

I learned to say no when I joined a carpool and realized I was the only one driving!

Katie said...

my friends have told me I'm very good at saying no. I agree that sometimes it's harder than other times! It does feel good though, to not have to justify it!

Cathy said...

I never thought of it that way before! I always have an explanation when I say no....when really, only a "no" is needed.

Unknown said...

It's hard to say no. It really is.
You are afraid that there may be some resentment. But it's worse saying yes when you mean no. Then there is resentment for sure.

Peace - Rene

Our Scoop said...

Good for you! It is so freeing to be able to do that. I am much better at saying no in email or on the phone vs. in person! But I am not that good at it even then. I am also working on not adding the extra explanation! It's tough!

Annelie said...

Kudos to you for making progress on a change you want to make. I'm working on the same thing.

C. Beth said...

Mama to a Diva--It's a good thing to work on!

Simply Heather--great wisdom in your comment!

Deb--Yes,I tend to get in over my head without realizing it too.

~hon~--Thank you for your encouraging words!

Desert Grace Boutique--HA!

Katie--Good for you--now come hang out around me! :)

Cathy--I told this story to my husband, and he said, "So if I tell you no, I don't have to give you a reason?" I made it clear, this doesn't apply to him! ;) In all seriousness, I do think sometimes an explanation is warranted, especially if we're really close to someone. But it's usually not my responsibility to give a stranger an explanation, though I often do.

Not The Rockefellers--Now, THAT is a good point!

Our Scoop--Yes, e-mail is the easiest! And phone somewhat. I agree, in person it's hard!

A.--Thank you! Hope we're BOTH able to make progress!

Faith said...

Congratulations!!!! It is a very important skill to have.

beckiwithani said...

Funny; this is something I've been working on too.

For example - I got sick awhile back. And when I called in sick, I just said, "I'm calling in sick." No explanation, no "I have a high fever," no "I think I have the flu / strep / whatever." Finally, after 3 1/2 years at the same workplace, I realize that, if I am trusted by my employer (and I am), I can just say I'm sick.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the above "recovering people pleaser comment." It's so hard saying no because it's entirely against my given nature. At work, I'm a lot harder but at home, I'm a total wimp. Oh well, I'll grow up eventually.