Sometimes the most loving answer we can give someone is, “no” (in the most heartfelt, gracious way possible, of course). But in a world where we crave acceptance and the ability to please others, saying no can seem nearly impossible at times, especially as busy women who are often trying to do way more than we ever should. Often times, even when our hearts are screaming for us to decline an invitation, our mouths utter the word, “yes!” before we even know what we’re getting ourselves into. These things are usually good things, but the problem comes when we say yes to too many good things. We overwork ourselves, stress ourselves out, and wind up being worn out and no good for anyone around us. Saying yes to every person or opportunity that comes your way will only make you tired and incapable of being truly present for the things that matter most to you. So today, we’re giving you permission to say no! We’re still learning how to give a gracious “no” despite feeling like we’ve let others down in the process, but as we’re learning, we’ve found three times that it’s always okay to give a polite, “no thanks.”
- If your reasoning for saying “yes” is strictly to please another person. People pleasing is such an easy trap to fall into! We all want to please our friends, our parents, our kids’ teachers…the list goes on and on. When we say yes strictly to please another person, we’re making commitments for the wrong reasons. We won’t ever be able to make everyone happy, and that’s okay!
- If saying “yes” causes you to become bitter. Sometimes when we say yes to something that our heart really does not want to do, it can make us bitter, and that’s not okay, friends! Holding onto bitterness only hurts ourselves and makes our own hearts ugly. The next time you’re tempted to become bitter about something you’ve committed to do, think about politely declining instead.
- If your “yes” will take time away from the things that are most important to you. Make a list of the things that are most important to you, and don’t allow things to cut into that precious time! If your family goes to church every Sunday morning together, don’t say yes to something else that will require your time every Sunday. Do you have a weekly “mommy and me” date with your little one every week? Don’t agree to sign up for a spinning class during that same time. Prioritize your time + relationships, and give a gracious “no” to anything that tries to steal time away from that list.
Want more tips on learning how to say no? We love this interview with Lysa Terkeurst, author of The Best Yes (a must read!), on the Today Show.