Friday, March 9, 2012

Project: Just say NO

As youth many of us took DARE class and learned to say no to drugs and peer pressure. Unfortunately, DARE didn’t make a lasting impression on me, I said yes a few times too many as a teen and young adult. By no means was I ever a drug addict but in some situations; yes, ok sure, and pass it here just seemed like a better choice. This has carried on in my adult life. Can you work an extra hour? Can you work this weekend? Can you watch my kids today? Can you watch my kids tomorrow? Can you do this? Can you do that? Yes, Okay, sure, no problem, sounds good, what time do you need me? This happens to me and I’m sure most women all the time. We are people pleasers so we say, yes; then we stress. I feel like if I can’t think of an excuse fast enough then there’s no reason I shouldn’t do the task being asked. Sadly, when my kids ask me to help them with simple things, I can’t say no fast enough. They are only people whom I really say no to on a regular basis and they are the ones that need me the most. If I said no to others more often I would have more time to say yes to them.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to do people favors but don’t let them take advantage of you. Also, don’t say no all the time because then nobody will ever say yes when you need them. I am lucky enough to have a few friends with kids and we trade off babysitting. Trading off is usually a win-win situation. Learn to prioritize. Try to do things on your own time. For example, call your friend and tell her you can watch the kids or do a task on Thursday from 9:00am until 1:00pm. As for work, try compromising. Tell your boss you can only stay late today if you can leave early or come in late tomorrow. Of course, this won’t work in every workplace and depending on how you're paid you may need that extra hour of work. If that is the case, this doesn’t apply to you. I’ve actually learned to say no in the workplace, enough to the point where my boss doesn’t even consider calling me to pick up shifts. I’m perfectly fine with this, any more then 2 to 3 days a week and would be suicidal.

Do you really need to think of an excuse? Actually, no you do not. Keep it simple. Let’s practice: Friend- “Hey do you think you can watch my kids tomorrow?” You-“Sorry, tomorrow actually doesn’t work for me. Boss- “I need someone to work tomorrow from 3pm-11pm?” You-“I’d love to but unfortunately I can’t.” In these situations a straight up “no” is almost too simple and straight forward so these lines can work. It also helps if you can change the subject right after saying this. Never give too much information and be careful with lying; you might get yourself caught up. Your best friend and sister will know if you’re lying and coworkers andaecquaintance will know you really weren't sick when they see a picture of you at a party on Facebook later that night. Trust me, this has happened to me before.
This is way harder than it sounds. While writing this, I just volunteered to watch a neighbor’s kid tomorrow, an acquaintance’s kids on Tuesday and picked up an extra shift on Thursday. I need to realize that saying YES will create stress and NO will let me rest. Please let me know if you have any great tips on saying no.

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