Saturday, February 21, 2015

Yes is Easier than No

Linking up with Dean and Courtney

I've always been a "yes" person. Always quick to agree, slow to complain or contradict. I never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings or have that awkwardness that comes when you tell someone "no". Confrontation is something I avoided at ALL costs. 

I've often found myself agreeing to things that I 100% don't want to do. And it always causes me such stress and anxiety. My husband always asks, "Why don't you just tell them no?" and my response is always, "I can't."

I think it's partially the guilt and fear I feel at letting someone down or being labelled as unreliable or a "flake" because I hate when people flake on me. 

"Yes is like credit, No is like cash." - C. J. Langenhoven

But as much as I have conflicted feelings about "yes" - and continuing to work on finding my voice - it's actually the 2nd part of the quote that really bothers me. "Figure it out afterwards." UGH. Never have more frustrating words been spoken. And even more so now that I'm a mom. 

I have to keep in mind a lot of different things - the boys' nap time, meal times, bath time, homework time, errands, meal prep, spin class, cleaning, laundry, etc. Trying to figure out how to juggle all of that and make plans really takes some prior planning and maneuvering. So yes, while spontaneity can be fun and exciting, more often than not, it leaves me scrambling - which is why you'll find me silently fuming when I ask someone to make plans and they refuse to commit to a date/time. And they casually say, "Let's just figure it out later." Aghghghfghghfghflgfg. 

Woo-sah. Don't run for the hills, I promise I'm not this crazy person who has to plan every minute of every day. I'm just more mindful to manage my time wisely and take into account my family's needs and my responsibilities. Especially my kids - they come before everything. Even my "yes" complex. 

I've gotten a little bit better about speaking up when something doesn't work for me, but I still feel that uncomfortable twinge lurking underneath. My eyes get shifty and I start to fidget, like a kid in the principal's office. Hopefully one day I'll learn how to strike that balance with ease. 

What are your tips for saying no with grace? Are you a planner or a figure-it-out-er? 

P.S. Our prompt for Write or Die Wednesdays this week is the quote below. Hope you join us! Happy writing. 


  1. Let me know when you figured out how to say no with grace because I'm a total yes person and need help myself!!! XX

  2. I'm like you twinnie, more of a planner but occasionally enjoy a spontaneous adventure. But there's then there's the whole when someone asks a favor. My thing is besides letting someone down and the guilt is "am I missing out on a blessing because I'm saying no? Am I not giving someone a blessing by saying no to them?" Its hard because I WANT to help as many people as I possibly can but what (usually) inevitably happens is you get used. Over and over and over. They know you won't/can't say no! And you've got all this extra stress because your people pleasing nature has made you a target!

    The way I've learned to say no is, if it's something I don't have to answer right away, I do consider it. I weigh my options. I ask myself if this is something that would be worthwhile for me. If it seems like it's more trouble than it's worth, I say "thank you but I'm going to have to respectfully decline." And I feel like if you give them a list of excuses it just looks like you're lying.

  3. Saying no can really be tough and it has taken me some time to get there, but as I am getting older I find it easier to say no every now and then.
    Great topic for a post! Happy Sunday xxx

  4. It is really hard sometimes to say no, but sometimes it has to be done.

  5. I so agree with everything that you've just said. I think the Tina Fey quote is great motivation for those decisions where we sometimes just need a bit of a "push" (such as taking that job that you REALLY want but will be slightly tricky logistically to transfer to) but in general, I think an attitude of "look before you leap" is much sounder advice. We can't say yes to everything (and doing so will only serve to leave us exhausted).

    Great article!

    xx Anastasia //

  6. GAH!! The guilt is the worst!! I hate to let anyone down, I'm such a "yes" person. I have learned to say NO, but ::gulp:: it haunts me. I sit and wonder what the recipient of my NO is thinking, and then I want to quickly call and say YES. HAHA... Yes, I'm a bucket of nerves. :)
    Thanks for joining us!
    p.s. I love the WODW quote, Stephen King is one of my favorites.

  7. The expat community is a flaky community, so I've gotten used to plans changing at the last minute. This used to frustrate me, but now I don't expect folks to come through. Perhaps this is sad, but this is life. On the other hand, expats can be very helpful and you don't even have to know them very well, part of being a tribe in a foreign land, I guess.

    In any case, I've gotten better at saying NO and changing my mind. It comes down to knowing myself better and really deciding if something works for me. If it doesn't then I just can't commit. I think who ever said, "You'll regret saying "no" more than saying "yes" - didn't live abroad or have to deal being taken advantage or crazy personalities.

    Sometimes I say, "Let me think about it" because I've said YES to something that in my heart I knew wouldn't work and had to wiggle out of it later much to the dismay and anger of a couple of friends. I end up looking bad, but now I know, I should have said NO.

  8. My problem used to be being a 'yes' girl and then flaking out (not all the time, but enough times to be considered a flake). I hated saying 'no' upfront because it was an uncomfortable response --for me, not for them. I think if we all get real with ourselves, being a 'yes' girl is more often than not rooted in the ego. We worry what people will think about us more than our actual desire to do what others ask. I believe this is the case for most people, although I do think there is a handful of really genuine, giving 'yes' folks.

    What helped me to become a recovering yes girl (and the subsequent flake), was to give the people in my life more credit, and also give myself less.

    What I mean is this: no one's life is going to crumble because *I* said no to something. I trust that the people I know and love are of enough stable-mind not to think me a horrible person if I say no to something they ask. Also, by saying 'no' when I know I can't or don't want to do something, I no longer turn to flaking out when the time comes.

  9. Yes is like credit! I love that!! What wise words!! Thank you for joining us again this week. I am always happy to see your pretty face joining us. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowlendge and experience with us. I love your point of view!

  10. I'm so with you on not giving a list of excuses. But I find that sometimes, aggressive people won't accept no, without a reason. And it just makes me uncomfortable! I hate that. :/

  11. A bucket of nerves, yesss, that's me, too. I always put myself in the shoes of the NO recipient, lol, but usually I'm just projecting. No is so hard. Blah! :)

  12. Let me think about it - that's a great response, Lani. I tend to just react immediately, and then regret it later! I need to learn to take my time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!! :)

  13. You are so frickin' profound, Shellz Bellz. So true - I'm always worrying about what someone thinks. You're so right, though, I need to give people more credit, and stop worrying so much about what others think. Gotta put my needs first sometimes. :)

  14. Thanks so much for your kind words, Courtney! :) #TWSS is awesome, I'm glad to be a participant :)

  15. Here is my problem with that quote. While I get the point she's trying to make - seize opportunities and figure out how to fit them in later - it is also good to be mindful of overcommitting oneself and having to flake out later because something comes up or there is no time left no matter how we tried to juggle things. I guess being chronically ill has given me a lot of insight into this particular problem. I used to say yes to everything and then I would get majorly sick from the stress or from the weather or whatever and have to back out. I would much rather say "maybe" or "let me think about it" then say yes to everything. I still do WAY too much, but I turn down just as many things because I have to take care of me first!

  16. Love that quote about yes being like credit and no being like cash. So true! I'm a planner when it comes to doing things, so I don't like it when people aren't willing to set a date and time either... and I don't even have kids! It has to be worse for you, since you do have children and a family that you need to be able to plan for if you're getting together with someone. Since I'm so uncomfortable with saying no, I tend to avoid phone calls if I feel like they might be asking me to do something and listen to the voice mail so that I know what they want and can form a response instead of feeling like I'm put on the spot.

  17. I love that, Becca - that you have to take care of you first. It's something we all need to be more mindful of, in my opinion. Thanks so much for reading. xo

  18. I avoid phone calls as well. I hate being put on the spot, too! I'm not good at hiding what I'm feeling when I'm on the spot, haha.


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