One of the ways that many of us get ourselves into trouble is that we commit to too many things; we fail to say no.
Saying no without guilt is not selfish – it’s a protective necessity. If someone said to you, “Can I have the air you breathe?” you’d probably question their sanity. You certainly wouldn’t feel guilty saying no. Yet if someone says, “Can I ask you to do something for me that will push you over the edge and make you feel stressed out and resentful?”, there are many times that you’ll agree either out of habit, obligation, or simply guilt. Sure, the person probably didn’t phrase the request like that, but in reality, that’s what is being asked of you.
Obviously there are many times that we can’t say no, and many other times when it‘s in our best interest to say yes or that we simply want to say yes. Terrific! The trick is to use our wisdom, instead of old knee-jerk reactions, to decide when to say yes and when to say no.
The key is to be reflective and to ask yourself, “All things considered – e.g., the feelings and needs of the person making the request, the need to say yes, and most importantly my own sanity, is it in my best interest to say yes, or is it okay to refuse? I think you’ll discover that, put in this perspective; there are probably many instances when it’s perfectly fine to say no.
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