Thursday, April 23, 2009

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

I have someone who asked me if I would pose these questions to you. Good questions.

When is it okay to say no (and not feel guilty)?
When someone asks you to do something for them that they CAN do for themselves, when is it okay to say no?
When someone asks you to do something that might actually be more trouble for you to do, is it okay to say no?
If you're like me, how do you say "no" and not feel guilty?


Melinda said...

Those are really difficult questions! I have a hard time saying no to anything, so I would love to see what other people say!

Christa said...

Oh my goodness. I've tried writing something that makes sense, but I've just ended up circle talking. Let's see how this goes.

I can and do say no to people. Whether or not I feel guilty about it is a differnt story altogether. I try not too and it really depends on the situation. I don't feel guilty when I know I am blatantly being taken advantage of. It's sometimes hard for me to say no when things are troublesome because I think of the whole Christlike love and charity thing. I know that I'll be annoyed during the process, but come out blessed in the end. So pesky. I will try to offer some help when someone asks, but CAN do it for themselves. However, I am a BIG believer in tough love. I don't smother when I help and try to let the person do most of it themselves.

See, what did I tell you? I'm talking in circles. I hope this made sense.

Olivia Carter said...

I'm terrible at saying no. I do it much more now that I have kids and a sick mom.They make my #1 priority. But I still feel guilty when I say no.

So hard to learn to just say no and not feel bad. Wish I had some advice!

Bonnie the Boss said...

I just avoid the phonecalls unless it is someone I don't mind helping no matter what.

bingham 5 said...

I don't even think the word no is in my vocabulary - that's why people walk all over me dangit!

Brooke said...

Unfortunately, when I say no I always think I need an excuse. I would like to get to the point where I can just say no and leave it at that. I'm sure I do this because I feel guilty. However, people don't hesitate to tell me no, so I'm getting better.

Barbaloot said...

If you're prone to feel guilty when you don't help others anytime they have no hope. However, which would you rather: feeling guilty for a little bit, or not having any time to do the things you need to? (And also, teaching whoever asked you that they're capable of doing things themselves....). :)

Julie said...

I think you have to seperate out the saying "no" to someone and feeling guilty.

The fact of the matter is that you can't do everything for everyone. That doesn't mean that you won't feel guilty that you have to draw lines and tell people no at times.

If it's something that they can do on their own, and I feel that it would really really inconvenience my family (now there's another question- I don't mind inconveniencing myself, but don't want to inconveininece my family what psychological stuff can we get from that? :)) I don't feel too guilty telling them that I'm sorry but I can't do it- and giving them suggestions of how to do it themselves, or who else to call.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

I say no if I know for sure that I won't be able to do whatever it is they have asked in a way that it needs to be done. I occasionally say no for other things, but try to say yes when I can. And I only feel guilty for as long as I remember the conversation! ;o)

Lara Neves said...

The church teaches us two things that sometimes clash: Self reliance and Service.

I think if we serve too much, we hinder self reliance, and if we are too self reliant, than we hinder service.

It's a tough call.

For what it's worth, I have gotten better about saying no and not feeling too guilty, if I can honestly not do it. But otherwise, (like in the case of knowing a person can do it for themselves) I have trouble saying no and often get myself in over my head.

Good questions.

Kristina P. said...

I am a people pleaser, but as I've gotten older, I've learned that there is a fine line between helping and enabling. And if I feel like I'm being taken advantage of, or enabling, I will say no.

Tyran, the Yeti Yogi said...

> When is it okay to say no (and not feel guilty)?

Every time the situation justifies it. That is the difficulty, of course, being truthful about whether a situation justifies saying no or whether it is merely one's own rationalizations. Be honest.

> When someone asks you to do something for them that they CAN do for themselves, when is it okay to say no?

How can we know what someone else really can or cannot do for themselves? Perhaps they cannot do for themselves simply because they do not know that they can do it or depression has pulled them into a corner and while they have the means, they can't do it alone? (see Isaiah 35:3, Doc & Cov 81:5)

One must be very careful judging what another can or cannot do. Would you rather have another judge you with a friendly and merciful smile or weigh your every fault and foible on a pitiless scale?

> When someone asks you to do something that might actually be more trouble for you to do, is it okay to say no?

When we covenanted to bear one another's burdens at baptism, there was no option "if it's convenient."

> If you're like me, how do you say "no" and not feel guilty?

Simple, if you think to yourself, "I really should help but..." ignore your but, say YES and help. If you think, "I could help if only..." then remember the wisdom of King Benjamin, say NO and do not try to run faster than you are able.

Anonymous said...

When is it okay to say no (and not feel guilty)?when saying yes will create agnst in you, when your gut says to say no, when saying yes will end up enabling the other person, and not in a good way

When someone asks you to do something for them that they CAN do for themselves, when is it okay to say no?every time! imho

When someone asks you to do something that might actually be more trouble for you to do, is it okay to say no?yes, unless you are obviously not into the amount of service you could be giving, but again, your gut knows these things.

If you're like me, how do you say "no" and not feel guilty?practice... practice practice practice

good luck and hugs

Fiauna said...

I say no all the time. Sometimes I feel guilty, though I always have a reason. Believe me, if I say no, it means I can't do something. I would never say no to something I could actually do within reason.

Brittany Marie said...

Can we host the next Mary Kay/ Pampered Chef/Scentsy Party at your house? No.

That one is always easy.

the fowlers said...

Everyone has fantastic advice.
Here's what I'm taking from this:

If I truly want to help someone but I just can't, I shouldn't feel bad. I should offer suggestions for other people or places where they can find help. I should do what I can.

If I know that someone is asking me to do something just because it is something they don't want to do themselves, I shouldn't feel bad saying no. Nobody should do anyone's dirty work for them.

If I know that someone needs to do something alone, for the sake of learning or mental strength or whatever, I shouldn't feel bad saying no. I should be supportive in healthy ways.

I should say YES as often as possible, even when I'm feeling down or tired or anything else that might keep me from doing something good.

I should never, never put others in a situation where they feel like they are in over their heads or enabling me in bad behavior.

Most of all, I should let people know if I don't feel good about a situation, so it can be changed before feelings get hurt.

I just need to be honest with myself and my motivations.

AW Cake! said...

MY problem is saying no when it's related to a church thing. Even if it's just someone from the ward and you know they're taking advantage because of your finesse for coupons or because you happen to LIKE baking cookies and junk and stuff! *huff* Thanks for letting me vent,I feel better now.

Unknown said...

It's ALWAYS all right to say 'no'. But we have to be prepared to live with the consequences of doing so.

I've gotten quite good at saying 'no', but there have been a couple of times when I looked back on the situation and realized I should have said 'yes', for myself, for those asking, and as an example to my kids.

mCat said...

20 years ago, I wouldnt have dreamed of saying no.
However, with time and age comes a few pearls of wisdom (in my case, not a whole necklace full, just a few); and I can now, fairly well, discern when to say no and when not to. I just wish I would have done it more with my kids.

Jillene said...

I am a NO kind of girl. If I know I am enabling someone then no it is. If it's someting I don't want to do--then no it is. I don't mind helping people and I don't mind doing service but IT IS OK TO SAY NO!!

Jessica G. said...

I find it rather easy to say No to people who are looking to take the woman in SLC who is literally demanding that I make her a cake to feed 100 people, then drive an hour to deliver it on a Sunday. And she doesn't want to pay for it. Very easy to say no. Getting to the point where I'd like to say HELL NO!

Shawn said...

I'm LEARNING to say no----lets just leave it at that....

tammy said...

I really had to learn that it's okay to say no sometimes. Not everytime and not to everything. Like I don't agree with people that turn down church callings just because it's something they don't want to do.

But if it's something that is going to cause me major stress, or not be right for my family, then I don't have a problem saying no.

It's okay to think of yourself and your family first sometimes.

Jo said...

Seriously, I had to practice saying no. I had some good friends who I could call for support when I was feeling bad, who would help me realize, it really is okay to say no. And in your questions? Always okay to say no!

amelia said...

I always say yes. I'm such a pushover. Yet I whine about it to everyone who will listen. Isn't that awful? I shouldn't admit this in public.

Dawn Parsons Smith said...

I learned to say no when my hubster had his bypass (age 41). I had to find balance so I really just made the decision to slow down, do the things that felt comfortable for me. It has made all the difference! I don't feel guilty one single bit when I have to say no!

Jan said...

I did a post on this once myself. I love peoples answers. It is never easy. Each case unique in the asking. Tough tough. After all my near 50 yrs, I don't know how not to feel guilty unless I know that it will affect my family greatly, then it's easier.

Great question :)