Learning to Say “No”

Women are called to wear a lot of hats. Wife, mother, housekeeper, launderer, doctor, lover, chef, CFO, CEO, COO. Ugh, the list goes on! Although I am not a wife or mommy yet, I still feel the pressures of wearing a lot of hats: daughter, sister, parishioner, teacher, fried. All these hats come with their own set of activities. I tend to say “yes” to everything and let my plate get too full. This, of course, leads to decreased productivity: stress! So we have to learn how to say “no”. Here are a few tips:

  1. Think it over: Most of the time, an answers isn’t needed right away. Just let people know you will get back to them tomorrow. Take a night to think things over and determining whether or not you can add something else to your plate.
  2. Ask for a second option: Consult with your husband or parents to determine whether they think you have the capacity for something else. Chances are, whatever you are doing is going to take away time with them. They may think you should cut back something you aren’t devoting enough time to them while you think everything is fine. Before you take on anther assignment, consult with them and find out what their needs are.
  3. Prioritize: God needs you first, your family needs you second, you need you third. I have fallen into the temptation of thinking I can do three bible studies at the same time for Christ. This is loony and bummed me out. It also prevented me from connecting my heart to Jesus because I was so worried about doing my homework when I went to chapel. It also took me away from my family three nights per week. That is a lot of time away. Set your priorities wisely and stick to them.

My final thought on this is don’t worry about other’s feelings when you say no to the second book club. If they ask why, tell them your plate is full and most people will understand. It is okay to say “no,” let’s start saying it more often.

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