7 reasons why you need to start saying no

7 reasons why you need to start saying no

How often do you say no to something? You don’t really want to volunteer for another fundraiser, make costumes for the school play. But somehow, you get roped in. You’re a nice person, and saying no means letting people down. Before you know it, you are baking a batch of muffins at midnight. Seriously how hard is it to say no? I find it almost impossible to say no. But we should start getting used to saying no:

  1. Saying no means prioritising what’s important to you.
    Like the time I should not have agreed to take a conference call on my non-working day which meant I meant I missed some of my little girl’s school play. Was it really that urgent? Why didn’t I get a colleague to step in? In my eagerness to please, I didn’t consider these things. A lesson well and truly learned.
  2. Saying no means less stress
    When we say yes to too many things we overcommit and overburden ourselves, this is stressful. And too much stress can wreak havoc with our immune system, running us down and getting us ill.
  3. Learning to say no means getting used to discomfort
    By saying no we create space to do things that really matter to us. But saying no is hard. Ed Batista, coach at Stanford Graduate School of Business says: “Become more comfortable with discomfort.” But it’s worth it!
  4. Take an economist’s perspective to saying no
    I like Tim Harford, the Undercover Economist at the Financial Times insight about saying no, ‘that every time we say “yes” to a request, we are also saying “no” to anything else we might accomplish with the time. It pays to take a moment to think about what those things might be.’
  5. No needs to be a guilt-free word
    Saying no is loaded with so much emotion. Scientific American’s Savvy Psychologist, Ellen Hendriksen PhD, says: “Guilt is an emotion reserved for when you do something wrong. If you hurt someone, it’s appropriate to feel guilty.”  You don’t want to bake those cupcakes for the school fair. Ditch the guilt and say no.
  6. Saying no will simplify your life
    Leo Babauta from Zen Habits says: “Say yes to less and simplify your life.
  7. No is a power word
    I end with the awesome Tina Fey’s musing about the power of no. “Whether it’s writing a pilot for a bad actor or the butter scene in Last Tango in Paris or telling Roger Ailes to put his hamburger meat back in the freezer, feeling like you can say ‘no’ without any negative repercussions is an important kind of power

And if you are still struggling to say no, then the Oxford English Dictionary Blog has 29 ways of uttering that two letter word.

Photocredit, Steve Snodgrass courtesy of Flickr

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  1. January 26, 2017 / 9:07 am

    Oh I am all about this at the moment! Returning to work it has hit me I can’t take everything on all of the time! I completely agree re the non guilt thing – off to read the dictionary!! Stopping by from #sharingthebloglove xx
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…Blogger Club UK #52My Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      January 26, 2017 / 9:44 pm

      No is going to be your best friend when you get back work. Set your boundaries and stick to them!

  2. January 21, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    no3 stands out to me. #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Tooting Mama
      January 26, 2017 / 9:33 pm

      Yes I do agree, it’s sometime so squirming to want to say no, but I know I have to just get used to the squirm and say no!

  3. January 19, 2017 / 10:37 pm

    #4 is my favourite. Our time on earth is limited. We need to remember that when asked for our time and decide carefully how we use it. #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Tooting Mama
      January 19, 2017 / 10:58 pm

      Yes, some of that time needs to be for us!

  4. January 19, 2017 / 10:04 pm

    Love this!! I tend to say yes to pretty much everything and then proceed to spend the time worrying about it, moaning about it and not enjoying any of the rest of the time until the thing is over. It’s madness!! I definitely need to learn how to say no more! #sharingthebloglove
    Cherry @ The Newby Tribe recently posted…4 Great Blogs, 4 Great Reads!My Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      January 19, 2017 / 10:58 pm

      Yes so agree, we say yes, regret it and resent it and kick ourselves because we just couldn’t utter no! Crazy!

  5. January 19, 2017 / 4:24 pm

    I absolutely love this! No is a word I am getting very familiar with at the moment. I used to say yes to everything out of guilt. I recently turned down some work because it didn’t feel right to do it but I felt guilty saying no. Once I had said no there were no repercussions and I actually felt really relieved! I like the word no!

    • Tooting Mama
      January 19, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      As Tina says no is a power word!

    • Tooting Mama
      January 19, 2017 / 8:18 pm

      Yay! Good for you!

  6. January 19, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    I really need to learn how to say NO but sometimes it is harder said than done because you don’t want to hurt people’s feelings

    • Tooting Mama
      January 19, 2017 / 8:17 pm

      Oh I so agree, but we have to woman up and say no!

  7. January 19, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    Hooray! Saying no can be hard sometimes, but so important! We really need to focus on what’s important to us ahead of what is important for others. Especially the guilt part – say no to guilt! #SharingTheBlogLove

    • Tooting Mama
      January 19, 2017 / 8:16 pm

      Oh I’m with you on the no more guilt to say no!

  8. January 19, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    So true! Now I’ve got three at primary school, I’ve had to learn to say no! There just isn’t enough of me to go around! I usually do it by saying that I can’t manage another school commitment because I’m already doing x,y & z! Very frustrating that there are a select group of mums who seem to do everything and therefore only bother asking us rather than those who do nothing! xx #SharingtheBlogLove
    Sonia recently posted…New Year Brings Queues for the Showers & Epic Gym Fails!!My Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      January 19, 2017 / 8:15 pm

      Yes so agree with you! There’s always a few who step up and they are the ones’ with their hands full. Good on you for saying no though!

  9. January 19, 2017 / 7:12 am

    Fab post, and has helped to remind me that I shouldn’t feel guilty about saying no. The bit about you are giving something else up if you don’t say no is so true. #sharingthebloglove

    • Tooting Mama
      January 19, 2017 / 8:23 pm

      Thank you! Don’t feel guilty about saying no. Think about saying yes to less!

  10. January 18, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    I love this! I am trying to say no more without feeling guilty! Sorry late visiting from #BloggerClubUK

    • Tooting Mama
      January 18, 2017 / 5:24 pm

      Yay! Yup the no guilt no!

  11. Carolina Twin Mom / Mary Peterson
    January 16, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    Ahhh, such an important topic for so many women! In the recent past, I’ve called upon my mother and sister to “coach” me through saying no to various things. The biggest thing was when I was asked to volunteer in the church nursery on one of the 2 days that my children were in preschool. I was tortured by this! I am ashamed to admit that my first instinct was to tell a lie. But I ended up simply saying no. A kind no, but a no with a short and sweet reason (so I could live with myself). That is SACRED time and I couldn’t stomach the idea of dropping my beloved twins off at school only to surround myself with many MORE children!
    Carolina Twin Mom / Mary Peterson recently posted…How to Neatly Display Your Child’s ArtworkMy Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      January 16, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      You did the right thing, and plucked up the courage to say no – well done you!

  12. January 15, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    This is me! The people pleaser, not wanting to let people down and saying yes to everything. Then I get anxious and stressed which affects the people around me. I really need to start learning to take a step back and only take on what I can realistically do. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Laura – Dear Bear and Beany recently posted…The Love Of A Mum…The Ordinary MomentsMy Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      January 15, 2017 / 9:13 pm

      I’m always afraid of hurting the other person’s feelings, or the I don’t want to let someone down but then feel resentful – which is worse, I have to woman up and get the power of no!

  13. January 15, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    I need to re-read this on a regular basis! I’m terrible at saying no, I’m a people pleaser and I hate the thought of letting people down. It definitely puts so much unnecessary pressure on though, and I think the thought of saying no is feeling quite liberating right now! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…The Pregnancy Diaries: Week 18My Profile

    • Tooting Mama
      January 15, 2017 / 9:12 pm

      You and me! I’m rubbish at saying no, but this year I have to get better at the no. It’s for the best!

  14. Kerry Norris
    January 13, 2017 / 11:44 pm

    This is all so true and something I need to take on board more. I need less stress x

    • Tooting Mama
      January 14, 2017 / 7:20 pm

      You and me both!

  15. January 13, 2017 / 3:06 pm

    Amazing post girl. I’ve written about this before and have read lots of pieces on the power of no (and yes). Both times, it’s about having the power to do what feels right for you. Thanks for this beautifully written and empowering post x

    • Tooting Mama
      January 13, 2017 / 3:15 pm

      Thank you! No is truly a powerful word! We so need to have the confidence to say it!

    • Tooting Mama
      January 13, 2017 / 11:50 am

      I completely agree, no is sometimes the best all round, but it just seems to be easier to say yes and them end up in a sticky mess of being over-committed!

  16. January 12, 2017 / 5:56 pm

    Say yes to less is the one that strikes the biggest chord with me. Actually I love saying no and particularly to my teens – but don’t tell them that. #bloggerclubuk

    • Tooting Mama
      January 13, 2017 / 11:46 am

      I love the say yes to less, it’s something I must do more of, and your secret is safe with me!

  17. January 12, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. I envy people who can be direct and are not afraid of saying no.

    • Tooting Mama
      January 13, 2017 / 11:49 am

      I do too. How do they do it? There’s a real art to being able to say no.

    • Tooting Mama
      January 13, 2017 / 11:43 am

      I completely agree, I need to get better at this too!

  18. January 12, 2017 / 3:04 pm

    This post has inspired me. I find it so hard to say no, and I end up paying for it in the end, or my family do. Thank you for reminding me to man up!

    • Tooting Mama
      January 13, 2017 / 11:42 am

      Thank you! It’s hard to do, but we owe it to ourselves to get better at it!

  19. Emma (Lavender Vibes)
    January 12, 2017 / 12:45 pm

    Whoops forgot #sharingthebloglove xx

  20. Emma (Lavender Vibes)
    January 12, 2017 / 12:44 pm

    This is so true, I have such a hard time saying no and then feel so stressed!

    • Tooting Mama
      January 12, 2017 / 1:14 pm

      Me too! That’s exactly how I feel!

  21. January 11, 2017 / 10:38 pm

    Sometimes saying a clear and direct No saves other people unnecessary work and gives someone else a chance a shine. If people know you have not agreed to something then they are free to make other arrangements rather than catering to the needs of someone who didn’t want to be there/do that in the first place.

    • Tooting Mama
      January 12, 2017 / 11:37 am

      I so agree with that, it’s hard to deal with someone who has reluctantly said yes.

    • Tooting Mama
      January 12, 2017 / 11:43 am

      I agree with you the guilt is a big factor. But once you have said no that’s it – you are free of it and that’s so empowering!

  22. January 11, 2017 / 1:28 pm

    It’s hard isn’t it! I need to get better at saying know and you’ve reminded me why. Prioritising is one of my key things for this year. Thanks for this post! #bloggerclubuk

    • Tooting Mama
      January 12, 2017 / 11:40 am

      Me too, I need to get better at saying no, not um, maybe or I’ll think about it. I need to be better at prioritising and being more organised a well. Good luck!

  23. January 11, 2017 / 11:59 am

    I am always telling my partner he needs to say no to things. I tell him that no one will thank him for putting himself out and folk wouldn’t do the same for him. I get really wound up by it.
    In the next instance I’m the idiot baking cakes and volunteering at school fairs I don’t want to be at!

    • Tooting Mama
      January 12, 2017 / 11:41 am

      Oh man I have been there too! Completely feel for you!

    • Tooting Mama
      January 12, 2017 / 11:46 am

      Me too, I just need to get more confident at saying no and not worrying so much about the other person!

    • Tooting Mama
      January 12, 2017 / 11:47 am

      Saying yes is good, but saying yes to the right things. For such a small word it can be so hard to say!

    • Tooting Mama
      January 11, 2017 / 8:29 am

      I agree, but sometimes it’s so hard!

  24. January 11, 2017 / 8:00 am

    Great post! Saying no is SO hard and it is only as I’ve got older that I’ve been able to say it a lot easier (it’s still tough, but I know from experience how agreeing to do something I don’t really want to do causes me a lot more stress than actually saying no). I wonder why it is hard for some of us? I think I just want to be liked and worry that saying no might make people not like me! Silly really!

    • Tooting Mama
      January 11, 2017 / 8:30 am

      Yes tell me about that! I say yes, then kick myself, why did I agree to that, I should have just said no, but why is that so hard? It’s such a small word!

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