Monday, February 28, 2011

Just Say No

In elementary school, “just say no” was a slogan we learned in case someone tried to offer us drugs. Though I never had a problem “saying no” in that way, in other areas of my life, I’m one of the biggest “yes” women around.

The truth is, when it comes to projects and opportunities I’m passionate about, I have a very hard time stepping back, even when I know I’m biting off way more than I can chew. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one who has a hard time saying no, but a post last week by one of my favorite bloggers, Teenage Bride, really spoke to me and confirmed that I’m not alone at all.

Saying “no,” whether to requests from others or to pressures we place upon ourselves, can be hard and even gut-wrenching. Making it even harder is the fact that not everyone understands when you do say no. For instance, after taking on my new role with Weddzilla and finding my class load increasing, I realized I had to cut back on contributing to other blogs. Although I let one group know two weeks before my next post was due, they were not fully understanding, wanting me to finish out the month and not responding to wish me well after I apologized and said I unfortunately could not due to my class obligations.

But as hurtful as this can be, it’s these situations that especially make me realize I need to stop feeling bad about saying no to others, because others often do not reciprocate when given the chance. I also need to put less pressure on myself and accept that there are only so many hours in a day, that I am only one person, and that when you try to excel at too many things, you may set yourself up to fail at them all. My health and marriage need attention, and even though I am lucky enough to be living out many of my dreams, balance is still essential, as is just saying no when I absolutely have to.

Do you have a hard time saying no? Have you ever taken on more than you can handle, and how do you find the right balance in your life?

(Graphic Credit: Babble)


  1. I really needed this post this morning - work has been so insane for me lately, and I'm going to have to cut back on some projects and reschedule some other things. I'm not expecting it to go well, but I also can't work 18 hours a day to get everything done. I'm a total "yes" girl, and it really can be detrimental to your health and happiness. You're making the right choice!

  2. Hey there! I am so happy that my post confirmed for you that you are SO NOT ALONE!!!

    Women especially tend to feel that they always have to do everything for every one.

    Good for you for knowing your limits.

  3. Excellent point. It's essential to practice saying no occasionally. There are only so many hours in a day, girl. Good for you.

  4. It can be hard but you're right - think of your priorities and stick to those and saying no will be easier.

  5. Hey Heather,

    Im sorry that they didnt understand as well and give you the farewell you deserved. I am really grateful that the head editor of my wedding blog has been so understanding at times when I needed to step away from blogging, esp when we were very close to our wedding date!

    I used to have a tough time when family members asked to borrow money!

    As women we always put ourselves in too much and put ourselves last. So Im glad you told them no and are making time for what you need. It can be tough sometimes, there are mean people out there and they like to walk on nice people.

    I hope you're doing well.

    Lots of love. <3

  6. Sounds like you are making the right choice for you lady! It can be hard to say no to things but you have to look after yourself first.

  7. For years, I was the one volunteering at church, leading a book club, serving on a non-prof board, agreeing to organize the girlfriend trips or family reunion... Then I realized that I was exhausted. You can't do it all otherwise you'll burn yourself out and then you're no good to anyone, including yourself. Good for you on learning the power of a gentle but firm, "NO".

  8. i've sometimes found it hard to say "no". but now know that looking out for myself and finding balance is the best way to live, and sometimes saying "no" is necessary.

  9. ::raises hand::

    This is me in a nutshell. I'm always over committed, but it's always hard to say no. Someday I'll learn...