Reader question… “I have been working hard to bring more simplicity into my life but in one area I am struggling big time. I am on countless committees, in groups and organizations. I’m always being asked to make or donate something for all the various events. I’m a stay at home mom so when my friends need a babysitter they just drop their kids off to *play* with mine and of course no one ever asks first. Past experiences show me that I’m making sacrifices that none of these people would make for me. When I try to refuse politely people get angry with me and I always end up doing what they wanted anyway. I’m overwhelmed with resentment every time I let someone take advantage of me. How do I change this?” –Katie T.
I don’t think anyone should ever reach the point where they do only what THEY want to do without considering other people’s feelings… but there is a huge middle ground between being too selfish and not putting enough value on yourself and your time.
Obviously the solution is in finding that balance of saying yes to the RIGHT things (for you)… and saying no to the rest… but for most of us that’s not an easy thing to do. No one likes to disappoint or hurt people… when someone asks us to do something, it can often be very difficult to say no.
I’m hoping that some of you who have young children and are in a similar situation will have some suggestions for Katie. The first step is to accept that you can’t… and shouldn’t… agree to do something just because someone has asked you to do it… but how do YOU handle that next step?
How did YOU learn to say no?