Say Yes to Peace By Saying NO

I am not very good at saying NO.  As a recovering people pleaser, it's in my nature to say yes to everything.  Then, I get super stressed, grumpy and resentful.  Saying NO is something I want to do more of so I can have a more peaceful life.  Since I am not an expert on this by any means, I did some research on how to say no so you can say yes to the life you want.

Yes or No?  Tips to help you decide:
1.  Before accepting invitations, ask yourself if going will make you happy and if you really have time.  A week before Christmas I got a last-minute invitation to a party.  I decided to say no so I could finish shopping and mailing out Christmas cards.  It felt good to say no politely.  If I went I would have been frazzled and worried about everything I still had to do.
2.  Don't worry about hurting someone's feelings.  Choose what is most important to you.  I recently cancelled my son's behavior therapy appointment because there is going to be a big procession at my church tomorrow and I really want to participate.  Also, there is a beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother that is being loaned to our church for a short time.  I would like to see the statue and know that it won't be at my church forever.  My faith is important to me so I am saying yes to church.  My son has behavior therapy twice a week every week.  This won't come again.
3.  Pray or think about it if you can't decide to say yes or no.  If  you're not sure you have the time or energy to do the project or committee or whatever, ask for time to think about it so you can make a good decision.  Time almost always brings clarity.
4.  Say no if you feel like your tank is on empty.  You will have nothing left to give if you are frazzled and stressed and you commit to something when you don't have the energy for it. I need to do this with my kids.
5.  When in doubt, trust your gut instinct.  A man came to our house today to measure our bedroom windows for blinds or shades.  He tried to sell me faux wood blinds because they would be cheaper.  I told him I knew my four and six-year-old children would destroy them.  I chose the cellular shades because my gut told me they would hold up better to my active children.
6.  Write down the important things in your calendar first (like exercise and prayer time), and schedule other things around the important things.
7.  Give yourself permission to slow down or do less.  You need some breathing space.

I hope these tips help you make time for what you really need.  One of my favorite quotes is "It is easy to say no when there is a deeper yes burning within."  I would love to hear from you.  Are you good at saying no and setting boundaries?  What are your tips for deciding what to say yes to?  Let's learn from each other.


  1. Are you a reformed people pleaser who now says NO with confidence? Share your secrets with us.


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