Why is it so hard to say no? Saying no has become something negative and we avoid it over and over. We live in constant fear of saying the wrong thing or offending others, even if that means putting our own feelings aside. Being transparent from the start will avoid some of the greatest obstacles in our relationships.
You are allowed to have boundaries. Make them known and respect yourself. We can’t assume that others think and feel the same as we do. How will one know if you don’t make your boundaries clear? Give yourself permission to say no.
How do you say no and not feel bad about it? To answer that, you have understand why people feel bad for saying it. It’s simply because people generally take the path of least potential conflict. If we do say say no, we usually offer an excuse to go with it. Like saying we have something else going on instead. But the problem with this approach is it gives the other person an opportunity to continue to ask.
Rather than offer an excuse and postpone the request, respectfully make your boundaries clear to avoid problems and avoid revisiting the same issue over again.
As mother to 6, limited time is an understatement. I had to find a way to get comfortable with the word “no.” I prayed about this a lot, asking God to help me have more courage to set boundaries and to give myself permission to say no. I didn’t want to make others feel rejected. Prayer is a powerful thing… I began to say no with more ease and guess what? No one was upset with me, I didn’t hurt feelings and the same people no longer ask me to do things they know I don’t have time to or don’t want to do.
It’s not always a bad thing to say no and it’s also not always easy. In the way we just discussed, it is a necessary piece of self respect.
Time is our most valuable asset. We can make the most of our time and have good quality relationships with the people in our lives. That starts with good communication, love and respect we should have for one another and ourselves.
How can we expect anyone to understand the words we never say?
◦ Proverbs 15: 1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger.”
◦ Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
◦ Galatians 6:8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
1. Can you think of a time when you miscalculated someone else’s availability because you didn’t understand their schedule or something else they had going on?
2. How did you overcome that?
3. What could have been done differently for you to have more reasonable expectations?