Often times, too many people get caught in the habit of over extending themselves just to do for other people. I try to walk around like I got an S on my chest. I have a very empathetic heart and I feel for people, especially those closest to me. I’m always volunteering myself to help people or saying “yes” when asked, knowing DAWG ON WELL I should have said no. I burn out and complain about being so “busy” when my “busyness” is under my control. What sense does that make Alana?!?!
Why do we fear saying the word no so much? I can’t speak for everybody but I do think that for those of us who tend to never say no share a common thread:
- For some strange reason, we may feel as though we owe people and feel obligated to always tell someone yes when they request help. Maybe once upon a time, you did owe someone and maybe you already paid that debt. Yet and still, when they call, we come running. Don’t ever let someone guilt you into thinking you constantly owe them something. Close friends and family members fall under this category more frequently. The word NO could potentially cause strife within those relationships, but if the other party allows that to happen, there were deeper issues than the request we just declined to help with.
- “Who else will help them” syndrome
- I got this real bad. I have some people close to me that struggle in ways I couldn’t even fathom going through. I am often times the friend that gets called when they need to vent, need a ride, some cash, a babysitter, etc. It weighs heavy on me sometimes. Especially when I know their story firsthand and know how hard it is for them to get help elsewhere. It wears me thin and I’m not effective within my own household after doing so much for others.
- You already told someone “yeah” without really knowing if you could commit in the first place?
- This can be a little tricky. Of course you should follow through with the commitment once you have already given the okay BUT if there is a chance that you cannot help, let that person know ahead of time so they can make the proper arrangements. Simply out of respect.
Yes, we will receive backlash. Especially from those who try to make us feel obligated. The sooner that people understand that nobody in this world owes us anything, the better. In the mean time, we have to be proactive in creating boundaries.
- Take care of home first. Household is first priority.
- What good are we to others if we are tired, flustered, and worn out? None!
We cannot save everybody nor is that what we were created to do. Sometimes the most I can do is pray for you, which I hope you would accept. I can be a reminder that:
“My grace is sufficient for you. For my strength is made perfect in your weakness”-
2 Corinthians 12:9
“Casting all your cares upon him; for he cares for you”- 1 Peter 5:7
“For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”- Jeremiah 29:11
Know that my “no” does not come from a place of selfishness but from a place of self- preservation. I have to set my own boundaries and ensure that mine is taken care of, and also ensure that I am not being an enabler because I am known to always say “yes.” Ultimately a no will require you to return to the ultimate Source that has the power to take care of each and every need. So no, I may not always be able to help you but I can always refer you to someone who can.