I love the word “yes.” When I say “yes,” I get to try new things or make someone happy. I believe the word can really enhance your life. But sometimes I go a little overboard and end up over-extended.
“Yes” is great, but sometimes you just really need to say “no.”
- When you’re overextended already – Believe it or not, you are not Wonder Woman. You can’t go nonstop and you can’t do everything. Once in a while, you have to rest. So if you’re already exhausted or the workload you have is keeping you busy, you’re better off telling someone “no” than taking on extra that is going to burn you out.
- When the thing makes you uncomfortable/goes against your values – When I was a kid and people asked me if they could cheat off my paper, I always felt bad saying no…but I would have felt worse if I had let them. This goes for adult things as well. If it will make you feel guilty (or hurt you in any way), you are allowed to say no. I encourage you to say no.
- When someone is repeatedly asking for favors and never helps you in return – I’m a huge believer in the golden rule. You should absolutely treat other people the way you want to be treated. But some people will take advantage of that and you should take care of yourself too. If someone consistently asks you for help and is never around when you need something, it’s time to stop helping.
- When you just don’t want to – This may make me sound like a bad person, but I don’t actually care. If you don’t want to do something, you don’t have to. Period.
“But Kari, what about…”
Absolutely there are exceptions. Maybe you’re tired, but it’s your best friend in the entire world and they really need you. Or your schedule is booked but it’s a person who has never failed to help you out. Maybe you really don’t want to do it, but they really can’t do it. Err on the side of kindness, but remember to be kind to yourself too.