I've mentioned one thousand times on this blog that I am not the best at saying no. It's not so much that I'm bad at it, but also that I often feel like I'm super busy and will never come up for air. I've tried SO much to be better about this lately. I quit all tutoring for the year so I only have one still all-consuming job. This has helped a lot.
For one of my October goals I have committed that I will say "NO" to 3 things this month. I think I also need to not volunteer for other things in the first place, but that's another story. One of the reasons I believe that Eric and I love visiting the Cape so much is that it eliminates almost all need to say no (well other than to just say "sorry we will be at the Cape!") We can just go there and have no obligations and nothing we absolutely have to do. I don't even mean just social things. It makes me say no to cooking (too difficult to get all the necessary ingredients down for just a weekend), organizing my house (too bad, not home), and often times I don't bring work down there (though I admit I sometimes do).
Since I've made similar goals before with no major success, I thought it might be helpful to look at why I struggle to say no.
1. I genuinely want to do something. This is a big problem especially with my social calendar. I am so lucky to have many friends and family who live close by, and so does Eric. This means that our weekends are often bursting with plans. The reason why I'm bad at saying no to these plans is because I genuinely want to do them. I usually really want to see our family and friends and don't want to say no. In fact, I'd like to make plans with even more people- I wish there was more time to see and spend quality time with everyone I love.
2. It's a good opportunity or experience. For example, the only thing I've said no to so far this month is a class I was going to take. It was a great opportunity- a class about teaching math, most of it online (only 1 in class meeting) and 2 graduate credits. Plus, all my K teacher friends are taking it (see #4). But, I ultimately said no anyways. I reached Masters + 15 credits this summer, and I promised myself I would take a break from classes while pregnant and raising a newborn. I doubt I'll really last that long (maybe I will, but I'm kind of a school addict), but lasting more than 2 months would at least be an accomplishment.
3. I feel guilty saying no. Does this even require explanation? Does anyone out there really never feel guilty saying no to something? If so, can you teach me how to not feel guilty? Sigh. I think this is the reason for which I should say no the MOST often. Sure, sometimes we all have obligations. But if I am going to improve at saying no, and thus be a more sane individual I'm going to have to let the guilt go on some things. Besides, I am less than a year away from dealing with "working moms guilt" among other mom-guilt, the last thing I need is "saying no guilt." :)
4. I don't want to be left out of something. Yes, I'm a middle schooler. If a bunch of my friends are doing something, even if it doesn't work for me, I still have a hard time passing it up. With my workout friends doing a triathlon without me this summer, I was tempted for 5 seconds to just do it even though I know I'm not really allowed to be biking right now. I mean, I never would've done it but I didn't want to miss a tri! I considered still taking the class I knew I don't have time/energy for right now just because all my K teacher friends at work are taking it. Really Kelly? Bad reason. I think in this day and age of social media, it's easy to see what others are up and feel left out. Time to get over that. Now.
Ideally I would focus on saying "no" to #3 and #4 things, but I think a lot of times it's not this solid- sometimes it's a mix of reasons and that just makes it all the more tricky. Let's hope I think of some more things to say no to in the next few weeks :)
I'd love to hear from you. Please share with me why saying no is difficult for you. Or, tell me what steps you take to make sure you don't overcommit and do say no sometimes!