I wish in my twenties I learned to say, “no”, which I now do. Just as far as just pressures where there’s family or friends…like you feel guilty so you do everything. But I feel guilty when I do say ‘yes’ to everything. Don’t try to be such a pleaser. – mom, 2 kids, AZ
I think you can say ‘no’ in a very nice way. I say “no” all day long. There was a point in my life where I never said ‘no’. But I couldn’t breathe. It comes back down to prioritizing your life. You sometimes have to say to myself, “I’d love to help this person but I can’t.” So I say,
“I’m happy to take a look but I can’t get involved.”
Or “Thank you so much for contacting me. I’m really sorry. I can’t right now.”
I think everyone is pretty respectful on the other end—they’re completely understanding. But it is incredibly empowering when you learn to say no. It changes everything. If you don’t. you get pulled in so many different things.
Pay attention to how much time you are spending helping other people, especially where you don’t get any return. Keep a record for a while. I think that that would help you realize how much saying ‘yes’ is interfering with your life and will make you say ‘no’. If it’s data, it’s pretty easy to make the conclusion that you could say ‘no’. If it’s a third. that is way too much. I try to get that down to 10%, particularly if you have a family. It’s not that I don’t believe in karma but there are times when you have to have time for yourself, your family and your own business. – mom of 2, investor, NYC
Saying no has become easier with age! I’ve been called selfish, but that doesn’t bother me half as much as saying ‘yes’ when I want to say ‘no’. My girls are grown and I now have much more time for my own self. But I am trying to instill this fact in them: “Please don’t ever let me, or anyone else, ‘guilt’ you in to doing what doesn’t work for you or your own needs.
I know that if we take care of ourselves first, there is so much more of us to willingly give to others. I get up early in the morning, (before 4:00 a.m.), just to find that time when I can be selfless and not fear the label of selfish. By the time the day begins for the rest of the world, I have already made some worthy deposits in my own account. – mom, 4020 reader