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Why is "Saying No" a Good Thing?

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This is Part 2 of a series of 3 articles. 

For Part 1, go to the Ecohealth Solutions website, by clicking the link.

In Part 1, we took a look at what happens in our stressed-out body when we feel overwhelmed if we take on too much. In Part 2, let’s make sure we understand why it's really a necessary skill to have. The possible guilt we may feel immediately diminishes if we know why it's good for OTHERS that we learn to say "no".

 

Recap on why it’s good for us to learn the “no” word

The thing is, we all have the same number of hours every day – only 24. Some of those hours we need to take care of family, meals, sleep, commuting and actual time at work. Our time is a precious resource that can never be replaced.

I recently read this fabulous quote:TheOnlyPerson

“The only person stealing your time and energy is you. Every choice you make, takes a little piece of your life. Give yourself permission to be picky.” ~ Cheryl Richardson

That scared me for a moment – every choice I make, takes a little piece of my life. Where are we frittering away our time and therefore our lives, because of the small little choices we make every single day?

Here's what happens when we keep saying "yes" to every possible request hurtling our way:

  • Time is our most precious resource, and not ever renewable. If we lose money, we can always earn again. We cannot do the same with our time. When it’s lost, it’s over for ever.
  • When we say “yes” to a request to help someone else, we are automatically saying “no” to something else. For instance – if you say “yes” to helping a friend babysit over the weekend, you have in effect said “no” to a quiet evening with a partner or husband. It’s no longer possible.
  • When we say “yes” to something or someone else, we limit our own options and flexibility now, and in the future. Generally most of us are reluctant to make a commitment and change it later. So be careful about agreeing – it’s not so easy to change a commitment.
  • When we say “yes”, the other person stops investigating other possibilities immediately. There’s no need for them to find other options. This may mean that they get to know you as “the person who will always help me out”. While it’s not a bad thing to be known as “the person who I can always depend on”, it does start to create an expectation that you WILL say yes and it may be very uncomfortable for you to even contemplate saying “sorry, not this time”
  • When the other person stops investigating other possibilities, we don’t give them a chance to get creative! In fact, we may be contributing to their “staying small”, and not developing their own inner resources and creative problem solving. Yes, I know – sometimes we just want to rescue that person from their hairy challenge because we’re just so good with what’s a challenge for them. Would you rather be known as a Rescuer, or rather be known as someone who helps other people to grow and expand into their greatness?

Conversely, what happens if I manage to say “no”?

  • We increase our own options and flexibility
  • We can actually get some of our own priorities and needs met by increasing the time available to us
  • We encourage others to grow and become more resourceful and creative
  • We increase our own self-esteem and self-respect - we start seeing ourselves and our time as more valuable
  • We teach others how to treat us in future – we may stop being the first go-to Rescuer!
  • We help others to treat us and our valuable time more respectfully

In effect – we say YES to OURSELVES.

Does that not feel a whole lot better than to keep on being the village doormat, slave and rescue team all folded into one exhausted package?

In Part 3 (available 2 December 2013) we’ll take a look at some respectful and kind ways to let those around us know that we, too, have needs and priorities to meet.

For much more in-depth information on HOW to say no, and how to take the stress out of the situation, purchase "No Problem. The Upside of Saying No" here. A FREE Ecourse is available for all readers to reinforce information and make it available in bite-size chunks. The Ecourse is delivered via email, every 3 days, 10 lessons in all. 

Help, I don't know how to say No!
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"The moment you say “yes” to a request, in effect you are saying no to a whole range of other possibilities." - Liesel Teversham

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