Posted in Mid-life Mama

7 reasons why you need to start saying no

7 reasons why you need to start saying no Posted on January 11, 201761 Comments

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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61 thoughts on “7 reasons why you need to start saying no

  1. 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

    1. 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!

  2. 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!
    #SharingtheBlogLove

  3. 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

  4. 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

    1. 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!

  5. 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!
    #SharingtheBlogLove
    Carolina Twin Mom / Mary Peterson recently posted…How to Neatly Display Your Child’s ArtworkMy Profile

    1. 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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

    1. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

    1. 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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