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Why it is ok to say no

posted 10 May 2015, 04:37 by Tim Elliston   [ updated 14 May 2015, 05:35 ]
By Louise Jensen

My partner and I have had a manically busy working week and I wanted to squeeze in a quick visit to the pool today before picking the children up from school.

We were virtually walking out the door when my partner received a phone call from a friend of a friend asking him for IT advice.

Rather than suggesting they call back at a more convenient time (or better still, pay someone to sort it out) I was left clicking my heels for 30 minutes while he worked his virtual magic.

I can't complain. One of the many reasons I love him is because of his kindness but I did wonder why, when we were so busy, he didn't say no.

Being honest with myself though I recognise I often agree to things I don't necessarily want to, purely to make someone else happy.

We all have a certain amount of commitments we have to adhere to out of duty, money has to be made, bills paid and families looked after, but ultimately the person we should be striving to make the happiest is ourselves. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? If it does its time to look at why.

We are told from a very young age to share, be considerate and kind to others but never taught to put our own wants first. We are led to believe it is wrong to eat lunch and play alone at school and consequently it feels more natural to be in the company of others whether or not we are enjoying it. Subsequently we carry around this unhealthy belief that to put ourselves first is selfish and wrong.

There is a difference between loving and respecting ourselves and being selfish. Being restful and being lazy are not the same. Being alone and being lonely are two entirely different things.

Look at the week you have planned and ask yourself honestly how your schedule makes you feel. Are there things that make you anxious that you are reluctant to do or things you have chosen that bring you happiness? If you are happy and fulfilled and not full of resentment and obligation light will shine from you and reflect on everyone you come into contact with.

Make sure you regularly schedule some YOU time. if you feel uncomfortable saying no try "I'll get back to you". Next time if saying no to someone else's needs means saying yes to your own, ditch the guilt, take a deep breath and be true to yourself.

Louise Jensen