I have always been a “yes” person. You know the type, anyone asks something of them and they say yes; sometimes their reply may be reluctantly but without fail ultimately their answer is yes. My fear in saying no has been in hurting the feelings of the person that is asking, or making them mad at me- I am after all a people-pleaser.
By continually saying yes, I have not only hurt myself but also the persons that I am “helping.”
How is it possible to hurt someone by saying yes to their request, some may ask. Simply, if I am over extending myself then I am not giving my all to the projects that I have said yes to. I am overcommitted because of my reluctance to say no.
I am learning that I can still come from a place of yes and say no. If taking on another project, task or volunteer assignment would mean that I would be giving more of myself than I have to give I can simply decline the request by saying, “I would love to help you; however, I have previous commitments and if I were to take on another project I wouldn’t be giving my all to your project. If in the future my schedule opens up I will make sure to contact you.”
Learning to say “no” is something that has taken time, and hasn’t come easy. Part of taking care of you, is taking care of you first. It may be cliché, but you should put on your air mask before anyone else’s. This isn’t being selfish, it is showing yourself that you have value.