It's OK To Say NO

I am a recovering "yes" person. Generally, if someone asks me to do something for them or attend an event or support a cause, my answer is yes.

Saying yes all the time seems like a good thing. People generally tend to like you more if your answer is always yes but I have learned to embrace saying NO.

Being a yes person can mean that you are generous and caring and put others first but it can also mean that you may care too much about what others think about you. Sometimes we are afraid that if we say NO we are letting someone down or they will think less of us.

The more I learn to love myself, the better I am with saying no. Recently, a good friend of mine got married and we laughed about how they could now say NO to a lot of things and blame it on their spouse or kids. Being able to say things like "It's just not good for our family right now" or "I talked it over with my husband and it's not a good idea" is a luxury that people with spouses and children have.

If you are a family of one it can be hard to come up with an excuse as to why you can't do something. You can often feel guilty or selfish for not saying yes to every opportunity or social outing. After all, people tend to assume that since you have no spouse or children you have copious amounts of time, energy and resources.

I have learned to say NO without giving an excuse. To my surprise, simply saying NO has been enough for most people. Just this week, I was asked to chaperone a field trip on Sunday from 5-9 pm. It would involve me seeing an incredible performance of Anastasia and hang out with some of my precious students.

After just a moment of consideration, I replied back and said "I would love to, but I will pass". The person replied back "Ok". That was it. There was no long explanation about how I generally don't like to work on Sundays or that I like being in bed by 9 pm for my own self care. Most of all, I did not apologize for saying NO.

Saying NO more has allowed me to say YES to the things that God has asked of me. Sometimes God is asking me to do "bigger" things like creating more time to write, carving out more money to give or traveling to see family but generally it is the smaller things He is asking me to do like going to bed at a decent time, waking up early and spending time with him, keeping my house clean and prioritizing my health. If I am asked to do something that threatens my ability to do one of the above then I simply say NO.

What have you said NO to lately that has allowed you to say YES to God in another area of your life?


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