Wednesday, 15 July 2015

stop it! learning to say "no" more often

STOP IT - it's that simple

There are so many things that I do out of obligation or habit or because I'm a little OCD and because I think "no-one else is going to do it". A lot of those things are necessary and part of the obligations of getting by in this world. However, some of them are self inflicted and I really need to tell myself "Stop It!!" when I go down that path.

I am a do-er and can't help myself at times. When something needs to be done, I just get on with it - often occasionally muttering under my breath in the process. What would happen if I just said "no"? I doubt the world would stop or that most people would even notice that I'd stopped. The house might be a little messier but life wouldn't stop because I'm cutting myself a bit of slack. I'm practicing saying "no" to things more often lately, and I think I'm getting better at letting things go and allowing myself a little bit of head space - it's so calming when I reduce the worry!

I'm also working at stopping myself from chasing after people. I'm tired of being the friend who always calls for a catch-up. Friendships are a two way street and I'm focusing on the friends who invest in the relationship. It's such a pleasure to be with people who you know like being with you. No-one is under any obligation to be there - it's a choice and a blessing to share time together. If it's too hard for a friend to find time, then I'm happy to back off and give them space and leave it to them to decide if they want to reconnect later.
When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:  Stop it!

The attitude of the heart is a really important part of what your character is and it's an area I am constantly trying to improve on. I have been on this earth for 50+ years and I still struggle with smallness in my attitudes at times. I want to be more generous and heartfelt in my relationships with others and perhaps one of the first things I need to do is tell myself to "stop it" whenever I feel myself sliding into grey areas that are justifiable but not warmhearted. It's so easy to judge someone or to question their life choices, but that doesn't help them in any way and just detracts from my own character.

I want to be the person that can be turned to for genuine empathy and thoughtful advice - not the person who will laugh or make light of someone else's problems. I'm not sure if it is a natural gift for some people who are warm and thoughtful all the time, or if it is just a matter of choosing your outlook. I am still a work in progress but I think I'm getting closer now than I was in the first half of my life....

19 comments:

  1. Totally still a work in progress myself and still trying to come to terms with saying, "No" more often if I can't do something. Even at this point in my life, i sometimes struggle with this, but thankfully I am getting better with it and still have been able to say, "No" more often.

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    1. Hi Janine - I think stepping up and saying "yes" is something women are good at - we need a lot more practice at saying "no" :)

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  2. It took me 46 years but I'm entirely completely and utterly comfortable with the no.

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    1. You are definitely my role model Carla - I'm still coming to terms with it but working on the whole "no" thing daily!

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  3. I do think being 'warm and thoughtful' all the time is a gift, part of some people's personality just like some people are quick and witty or funny. I think we all can work on getting to become the warm and thoughtful person.

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    1. Me too Haralee - warm and thoughtful would be a nice legacy to leave behind.

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  4. I had to learn to say no as I wanted to fix everything. And must have thought I had super powers.

    It's still hard at times.

    ~pia
    http://courtingdestiny.com/2015/07/wonderful-weekend-for-a-moondance/

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    1. Hi Pia - it's so easy to get sucked into trying to fix everything and such a challenge to know when to stop!

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  5. Hi Leanne! Don't most women have to learn this important lesson? I know I too am a work-in-progress. The challenge is the balance between being warm and thoughtful to everyone--and saying "no" when it is really important for you personally. Sometimes that's a difficult choice because others might no see you as warm and thoughtful when you do say no! I personally like the idea of being compassionate at all times because that takes into account both the other person AND you. ~Kathy

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    1. Hi Kathy - you are right on the ball again - it's a balance between the two isn't it? Getting the balance right between not being a "yes" person and yet still being compassionate.

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  6. Love your comment about being tired of being the friend who calls for a catch-up. I've decided those are friendships I probably need to let go of.

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    1. Hi Brenda - I'm letting them go too - it must be something that happens as we get older and wiser and learn to value our time more :)

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  7. I think we should get together -- from this post we are so much alike! It took me longer than you, however, to learn to say "No" and it sure feels good. Loved what you said about always being the one to pursue a friendship, etc. Good thoughts!

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    1. Hi Carol - I would love to get together (shame about the distance!) I bet you'd invest in catch ups with friends :)

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  8. I'm going through the same thing with many of my friends. Great words of wisdom - we all need to say no more often, but in a gracious way. I'm a work in progress!

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    1. Me too Lana - I'm slowly learning though - hope you're enjoying your holiday :)

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  9. I don't think of myself as work in progress. I think I'm still in the just starting phase and I have a long way to go. There's so much that I have learned about myself in these last two years that I never realized and like you there are some parts I just don't like.

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    1. I agree Rena - it's hard work trying to unlearn all the stuff that we know we would be better off without. We'll get there eventually :) welcome back!

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  10. I'm getting caught up on reading blogs today! Glad I came back and saw this post. I am learning to say no - now I just need to figure out how to get rid of the guilt that I feel afterwards!

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