The Art of Saying NO

 

If you follow me on social media you may recall me talking about struggling to Say ‘NO’, and well quite frankly being a bit of a people pleaser. Lots of you said that you suffered with the same thing, the inability to say ‘NO’. Some said they didn’t struggle with it at all (certain American friend I salute you). Perhaps it’s predominantly a British thing?! But just why do we struggle? Is it that we don’t want to appear rude? Is it the need to be liked? We fear confrontation? Feeling Guilty? Want to protect our friendships and relationships? 

 

When we do agree to the things we don’t want to do, or don’t have the time to do we find ourselves overwhelmed and sometimes stressed. We have to make sure that we put boundaries in place. Priorities, projects and personal interests have to come first.

 

 

I’m always appreciative and happy to accept invitations I fancy, do favours for friends and family where I can, however sometimes I simply can’t (numerous reasons) and in those instances I have to assess that situation and make a decision that’s right for me and my priorities.

 

 

I guess it’s the art of saying that little word ‘NO’ with grace but also with conviction. You don’t have to apologise or give the exact reason why. Keep it simple and straightforward. You don’t have to tell a white lie or give a ‘maybe’ and you don’t have to give specifics. My uncle always quoted “Lucy tell people information on a ‘need to know’ basis”, and you know what? He’s right……

 

These days, If I am unsure about something I take a step back. I tend to allow myself a 24 hr window to mull things over, sleep on it.

 

I recently began to jot down my thoughts and change the yes – woman within.

 

Dear Diary,

 

My week of saying No

Okay, for clarity this was actually over a 3.5 week period but you get the jist…;)

 

Charity Campaigner: I’ve just left the office on a on a Friday evening. He’s fast approaching with big smiles and a clipboard but I will literally miss my train if I stop and I am on the nursery run tonight. I’m also aware that I currently give what I can afford to charities that hold importance to me already. ‘I’m going to have to say no, today’.

 

Auntie: She wants to drop ‘boxes’ of Kids DVDs over for Alex. They were her God daughters from years back and they’ve been lying in her garage. She means well and I really do appreciate the thought but we just have no use for them. I don’t even own a DVD player and use Amazon Prime for our Peppa fix. They would clutter the house further if I take them (half of Pluen cottage is stored in our blue room) and I would only end up having to take them to the charity shop. Thank you but no thanks.

 

Brand Collaboration email re Instagram: They like my blog and would love to work with me to launch/review a new dental product. It pays really well. (The ones of this nature always do by the way). Sorry but teeth whitening strips just aren’t for me. I would never order these from a company I’d never heard of online. I’ve got sensitive/troublesome teeth and have just had a dental operation. I personally would only use a professional dentist for this type of service, so No – thanks for your interest in my blog but I do not wish to work with you on this.

 

Sister: She’s got Alex an Easter egg and wants to know if he can he open it up now? He had a tantrum post Kinder Egg yesterday demanding more chocolate so I want him to have a break from it. He’s only really been introduced to chocolate or ‘chocy’ as he calls it within the last 6 months and is quite the chocolate monster! Again, I appreciate the kind thought and understand that she wants to see him open the gift but No, not now.

 

Former colleague: A DM’s just slid into my inbox. He’s asking how I am but I can sense he wants something as I haven’t spoken with him since I left that firm years ago. He wants me to send him my CV with a job description of our old position. I’d love to help him but it’s quite personal a CV and it doesn’t sit comfortably with me. I send a link detailing a similar position and suggest he take inspiration from this job advert. It’s a No from me.

 

Door Salesman: DING DONG. He’s calling out of the blue about changing our broadband provider. This is a toughie. I’m really not happy with my current provider so it is relevant to me right now but I am not in a position to make any decisions on my own. I need the OH’s input. I’m tired and I don’t like being put on the spot. It’s 6PM and I am in the middle of making my son’s tea. OK, I will take your details and come back to you if I am interested. It’s a No for now. Phew, I am finally getting better at this. 

 

Husband: Shouts me up into the nursery and lets me know he really fancies my Katsu Curry for tea, can I throw one together while he is at the gym? I’m flattered he loves my cooking (and it’s a good curry if I say so myself) but my Endo is giving me grief and I’m proud I managed to blitz the kitchen. No, I can’t – the kitchen’s closed. It’s cereal for tea. Ha!

 

 

It’s a pretty powerful little word and when we begin to use it…..

 

Do you struggle with saying NO? Are you ready to challenge the Yes woman/man within?

 

Until next time,

Lucy X

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