This is going to be a tough one to write without sounding like a narcissistic twit, but I think it is important. There have been plenty of articles written in a general self help tone, but I'm not really the self help type. Here's the basics.
My son came home frustrated and angry. He'd been required to work in a group with 2 other students and he didn't want to. He was tired of working on projects with other people where they contributed very little, he performed the majority of the work and the entire group receives equal credit. I get it. I understand. I want him to know that he's right it isn't fair - but I didn't want to pull the typical "life isn't fair, be a team player".
We talked briefly about why he needed to learn how to work with people. I told him that he needs to learn not only the subject matter, but how PEOPLE work and how to spot people that DON'T, WON'T or CAN'T work. Its an important lesson in life so you don't spend decades allow people to walk all over you. I wanted him to learn that there are people you can and should say NO to.
I was that person. The one who wanted to be a "good leader". The one who wanted to be "a good helper"... the one who always said "Yes". It's taken nearly 15 years for me to fully embrace the power of NO. It has been a liberating and enlightening experience.
I'll start simple and go from there.
Direct Sales. We've all been invited. Tupperware, Scentsy, Pure Romance, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and my current favorites - Rodan & Fields, Younique and It Works. Guess what. We all go don't we. Even if we don't want to. We don't want our friends to feel bad. We don't want their party to be unsuccessful. Well guess what. I HATE TUPPERWARE!!!!! I went to a party. I spent $60 on cups. The cups are gone. It was a waste of time and money. So, the next time I got invited I said..... wait for it... NO. Check this out. The party still happened. My friend still had fun and got her "host rewards", and she and I are still very good friends. Why? Because she respects the fact that I do NOT like tupperware but I love her.
What NO means:
I don't want to.
I don't feel well.
I'm not into it.
I'm not available.
I've got other plans.
I don't have plans and I don't want to.
I need a nap.
What NO doesn't mean:
I don't care about you.
I don't love you.
I don't like you.
I don't want you to be successful.
No just means, No.
People who respect the needs of others will not be offended by your inability or unwillingness to participate in their event, project or group. They'll understand that people have limits, and we as human beings have certain inalienable rights - and one of those is the pursuit of happiness - which can at times mean making time to do NOTHING.
So do me a favor. If you are overwhelmed. If you are stressed. If you feel like you are doing TOO MUCH. Just say no. If someone asks you to babysit, and it is the ONE NIGHT you and your family will have a night alone and you just really want to hang out with them ----- SAY NO!!! If someone asks you to volunteer to lead a group, and deep in your heart you know you don't have the passion or time for it ------ SAY NO ------ someone else WILL step up if given the chance. If someone invites you to a party that you don't want to go to or a show you don't want to see or a concert you can't afford ------ SAY NO ----- if they are a friend they'll appreciate your honesty.
Now all of that being said, of course there are times when we sacrifice personal time and comfort to support other people in our life. Those instances, new baby, illness, loss or death - are not every single day. If you are constantly saying yes and burning the candle at both ends you'll have nothing left when those hard times come.
Say NO - so you can have the time and energy to say YES to the things that fill your heart and soul.
XOXO & Stuff,