2009-04-01

I'm just a girl who can't say no. Well, I used to be. As of today, I am a bitch.

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There are many reasons I haven't been round these here parts recently, but there is a common thread that weaves through most of them.

Despite myself, I'm a volunteer-er.  I'm a helper.  I'm a go-to gal.   I'm that one who people know they can depend upon in a crisis, a pinch or whatever.   I say yes.   I can't seem to stop myself. They neeeeeeeed me.  I can heeeeeeeeelp them.  Why should I not?

I'll tell you why not.

Beware the pitfall of consistently saying yes. The thing is, the one time you don't, it can throw the recipient of the unexpected, "No" into such a paradigm shift that things can get ugly. Fast. At first they waddle in circles for a few minutes, spinning their arms saying, "Does not compute. Does not compute. Danger. Danger. Does not compute."

Then things tend to settle into a comfortable anger on their part. After all, there must be some malevolent reason why their request was denied; you've always managed to find some way to rearrange things to help out in the past. This recent alteration in your behavior clearly indicates that YOU have suddenly turned into a dickwad.    

Anyway, this is where I find myself. I've heard stories of it happening to others (oh, the irony), and now it's happened to me...I find myself the target of resentment and mistrust because I HAD to say, "No.  Not this time."  Ah well, deeeeeeeeeeep breath.

Coincidentally, I recently finished two other volunteer positions:  the HUMUNGOUS main one that sucked the life out of me and my family for months (hundreds of hours over 13 months), and another far smaller one (errrmmm...probably about 40 hours spread over three weeks). Which means, suddenly, I am volunteer-obligation-free.   For the first time in years.

Yowsa.

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Okay, so...you know how there are a ton of book/seminars/videos/etc. flying around out there about how awesome the word 'yes' is?  Embrace 'yes' and your life will soon expand to the point of overflowing with sparkly goodness, true love, flying unicorns, and a fat bank account!  That kind of crap?

Why does 'No' get a bad wrap?  "Oh, it's so negative!" and "'No' is so limiting"..."'No' is mean and ugly and probably smokes behind the garage."  You've heard it all before.

Not. true.

'No' can be a most freeing, honest, concise, and profound word.  "No, I really don't need to spend seven bucks on a bar of soap, no matter how fancy the twine bow is," or, "No, that's okay, I understand," or, "No, that makes me uncomfortable."  How about, "No, I can't attend your event; I need to stay home and darn twine to wind around the soap I make," or best of all,  "No, I think I'd better not."

No, wait.  I think this is the best 'No" of all, "No, I disagree.  But we can still agree on other things."

So, I am reclaiming 'No'.  No is not evil nor unfair.  'No' is just itself, and as Mr. Roger's taught me, what makes you YOU is what makes you SPECIAL.  ~chucks 'No' under the chin~

What I am getting at is this...I pledge to you that starting tomorrow, No Watch Me Christine is going hard-core.  I promise to say NO every day and to report back to you all the juicy details.  

Does this mean I am going to actually report back to you daily?  NO!  

But, maybe.

I always keep my word.




10 comments:

  1. Good for you! I said no to continuing a volunteer position this year - one that was sucking the life out of me - and I'm so glad I did.

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  2. Love this! You've inspired me. I'm going to say no to someone about something today ... and not feel guilty.

    Winks & Smiles,
    Wifey

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  3. It's a beautiful word, make it shine. I need to use it a bit more too, it doesn't have to be a rejection.

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  4. No is the meatballs in the new style pizza...

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  5. mzsam6:39 PM

    so glad to see you back here

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  6. Oh my gosh, I had this problem BADLY too until about ten years ago. My hardest part was saying no to *cough* family *cough* and friends. A friend helped coach me -- my only answers to requests allowed for three months was no, no and hell no.

    I didn't even have to justify the no with a reason. Reasons just give them an edge in to argue that your no isn't good enough. (That's where the second no and hell no come in.)

    Man was it tough -- but I did it. On occasion I say yes now. :) But the totally unreasonable expectations on my time were dropped and something like ... oh I don't know ... respect creeped in.

    OK, so maybe not with everyone but it's much easier to say no now and not feel guilty. GOOD LUCK!

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  7. You're totally giving me an internet high five, aren't you? I know, I know. I gave it back.

    And I suck at the 'no' too. Hearing and saying.

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  8. Makes you feel powerful, doesn't it? Feel free to say 'yes' to that. :) I recently read something that fits with your post. It was about feeling free to say 'no'.

    "No." is a complete sentence (thanking Kathy Ireland for that one) We don't need to feel obligated to always explain. Sometimes, just a simple "no" works just fine!

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  9. Girl I am so sorry it's been so long since I've checked your blog out. Nothing personal, it's been so long since I've checked ANYONE'S out...even my own.

    Glad to see you're up and running again, and I'll be a loyal reader again. Here's to taking back the NO! :)

    Stephanie
    --
    Follow me at http://www.twitter.com/stephandkaeli

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  10. There is such power in no-a good power, not an evil one.

    We cannot do everything, we cannot be everyone, and the sooner we grasp this the better it makes us.

    Looking forward to the no updates.

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Brilliant observations: