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Do you have difficulty saying “no”?  Do you want everyone to be happy?  Yet, underneath it all, do you feel tired, trod upon, worn out, and stressed?  Do you want everyone and their needs to go away and leave you alone?Your “Yes” is a Gift

To reinvent your “no” you must look at your “yes.”  Your “yes” is a powerful gift.  You are gifting others with your time, energy, love, money, etc.  Your “yes” should make you and the other person feel good.

When you say “yes” when you really mean “no”, you are telling yourself that you don’t matter, that the other person and their needs are more important than yours.  It will feel good to them as they are getting their needs met, but you are left feeling resentful, and unhappy.  Worse, they don’t have a clue about your disgruntled feelings.

You Matter

Your feelings, time, plans, and needs matter.  We have been trained by society to believe that taking care of everyone else first is honorable.  It’s time to shake things up.

We have hard science to prove that when we take care of ourselves first, we are more productive, less stressed and sick less often.  Realize I am not talking about your weekly manicure.  I am talking about getting to the doctor, exercising, eating well, , challenging yourself mentally, nourishing yourself spiritually, and taking care of your emotional needs.

“No, with compassion, is essential to keep balance in your life.” I feel that one of our life challenges is finding balance between work, home, children, friends and family.  Where do you fit into this equation?  How do you find a few minutes to meditate and pray?  Whom do you call when you need to vent?  How do you find time to take a long to process an issue that is keeping you up at night?

You know when you haven’t been using your “no” if you have found yourself 20+ pounds overweight, not getting 8 hours of sleep, living with constant physical pain, exploding in anger, feeling guilty, or if you feel like the gerbil on a wheel. Are you ready to find balance and peace by adding the word “no” to your vocabulary?

The Healthy “No”

The healthy “no” involves no whining, excuses, or anger.  A teacher once told me:  “No one listens to screaming or whining.”  If you believe that you are important and matter remember: “No” is a full sentence.

The healthy “no” engages your heart and holds compassion for the other person.  The key ingredients to a healthy “no” are a pause and choices.  The pause gives you time and space to release your guilt and, your instinctual reaction. In this creative process, solutions are found through choices.  Choices that allow you and the other to get your needs met at the same time.  It is possible. Warning:  this solution might take time.

Here’s an example:

You are at work, and it is 4:45 pm.  Tonight is your daughter’s play at school.  Your boss tells you he needs you to stay and work on a proposal.  You might say:  “Okay.  I’ll stay.”  You cancel your plans and are angry, but you want the next promotion.  You don’t feel you have a choice.  But this only makes one person feel good and doesn’t create balance.  You might say:  “I guess I could stay, but I want to see my daughter’s play.”  Do you hear the whine?  Most likely your boss will insist that you stay.  Again, this makes them feel good, but you not so good.  You could get angry and say:  “You know my daughter has a play tonight.  You always do this to me.  I am NOT staying.”  You leave angry.  Your boss is angry.  Again, no balance.

The healthy “no” might go something like this:  you pause and take a deep breath.  “I hear that you need me to stay late, but I already have plans.  Give me a few minutes to come up with some solutions.”  Ten minutes later you go to your boss..  Before you speak, take a pause and a deep breath.  You say:  “I can stay for another 30 minutes without missing the opening.”  2) “I can do more work when I get home.” 3) “I can come in early tomorrow and work through lunch.  4) “Cindy could draft the proposal now I can put the final touches on it in the morning.”

You have said “no” without saying “no!” You aren’t angry, whining, or betraying your desire for balance by automatically saying “yes.”   If this is the first time you are using your “no”, you might be leaving  behind a frustrated and confused boss.  For future clarity, schedule a meeting to explain your dilemma of doing your job well and finding balance with your family.

Speaking your healthy “no” will be uncomfortable at first.  It will take creativity, courage and strength – all of which you have inside of you.  It makes your “yes” clean and leaves you with more joy in your life.  Yes, you matter.

 
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This entry was posted on
Thursday, June 06, 2012 at 21:14 pm and is
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