Saturday, April 11, 2015

A to Z Blogging "J is for..."

"...Just Say "NO"!
From "Lifehacks for Christian Moms"
by Shelly Burke, RN, Author, and Publisher, Nebraska Family Times newspaper

From "Mommy, can I have juice?" to "Where are my socks?" "Do you have just a moment to hear about our amazing new product?" "Can you teach Sunday School tomorrow?" "Will you take Dad to the doctor?" "Please bring my lunch to school--I forgot it!" "Will you be a sponsor on the field trip?" "Can you donate to our worthy cause?" "We're looking for donations for our fundraiser" "I'd love for you to join our group!" and ending your day with, "One more drink of water mommy?" and, "Honey, will you rub my back?" you probably receive dozens, if not close to a hundred, requests every day. 

It may be tempting to say "YES" to every request, but you'll quickly realize that doing so may lead to feelings of dread, being overwhelmed, and exhaustion. 

What should you consider in deciding whether to say "no"? 

  • All of the details--how much time is involved, if it will cost money (and if so, how much) how many meetings or get-togethers are required, exactly what your job involves, etc. 
  • How would this commitment fit in with your other commitments? If it is something that has many benefits, you might decide to fit it in. If not, you might choose to spend your time on other things.
  • Would saying "YES" to the request get you any closer to your

    other goals, or take away time you could spend pursuing your other goals? 
  • If it's a personal favor (like giving a loan, washing a teenager's clothes, doing an errand, trading hours with someone who forgot about another commitment), will saying "yes" truly help the person asking, or allow them to avoid responsibility and/or consequences?
  • Have you enjoyed doing this sort of thing in the past?
  • Would you learn a new skill, or use a skill that you have and enjoy using?
  • Prayerfully consider the request, and open your heart to God's direction. He might urge you in a direction that you'd rather not go, but listen to Him anyway.
  • Don't automatically say "NO", even if the request is outside of your comfort range. As Christians we are to be open to helping others, especially those who don't have anyone else to help. 
  • How will you say if you say "yes"? Relieved? Excited? Full of dread? Overwhelmed?
What to say when you need time to think about the request:
  • "I need to check my calendar before I make a commitment."
  • "My husband and I have an agreement that we will not commit to anything before talking with each other."
  • "I'll have to see if I can find a babysitter for that night." 
  • "That is a big commitment and I need to pray and think about it before I make a decision. I will let you know next Tuesday." 
Principles of saying "NO":
  • It's ok to say no for any reason...or for no reason. God says "NO" to many of our requests when He knows they are not right for us. If you are confident in your reasons to turn down a request, you have no reason to feel guilty about it. Although you might give a reason to close friends or family members, you don't "owe" anyone an explanation. 
  • No one can "make" you feel guilty about saying "NO". If you
    are confident in your reasoning, you have no reason to feel guilty; it is your choice to feel guilty. 
  • The person asking might wait silently after you've said no, hoping that you'll give an explanation or change your mind and say "YES." Or she might be bold enough to challenge your answer and demand to know why you said "NO." Don't be intimidated or bullied. Calmly repeat your answer as needed. 
  • Don't cave into the pressure of giving an answer immediately. If someone continues to pressure you, simply say, "If I have to make a decision right now, my answer has to be "NO"."
How to say "NO":
  • "Thank you for thinking of me, but I just cannot take on that responsibility right now." 
  • "That just won't fit in with my schedule right now; we are making family activities a priority this year." 
  • "I'm sorry, I already have plans." (Even if they are plans for a quiet day at home.)
  • "I know I helped last year, but I just can't this year."
  • "I can't help with the fundraiser this year, but put me down for next year"! (Only say this if you mean it; you will get called next year!)
  • "That is not one of my skills or interests, but I could help by..."
  • "Honey, you need to learn to do your own laundry. I will show you how!"
Have you ever regretted not saying "NO"? How do you turn down requests?

Watch for "Y is for...When to Say "YES"!" on the second to last day of the A to Z Blogging Challenge!

This post is an excerpt from the book “Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom’s Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family and Her Home” by Shelly Burke. This post is part of “Lifehacks for Christian Moms”, available for download May 1st.

I’m also blogging the A to Z Challenge at Nebraska Family Times, with the theme, “Words Matter.” 

1 comment:

  1. I am very good at saying no; have had to learn that lesson the hard way.


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