I don’t know about you but I like when people like me. Okay, I know that doesn’t exactly make me a special unicorn. I think most people have a biological desire to be liked or at least accepted. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked, well except for when it causes you to overextend yourself in the never ending task to be a people pleaser.
Let me share with you a quote I’ve had to remind myself constantly throughout the course of my life, “You can please some of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
The second you realize you can’t make everyone happy the happier you will be.
It is perfectly fine to do things with the hope of helping put a smile on someone else’s face but you have to make sure doing so isn’t putting a stop to your goals or stopping your needs from being met.
So how do you decided when to say no? Here are 5 times you should always give yourself permission to say no.
When The Request Makes You Uncomfortable
When they say, “Life happens out of your comfort zone they don’t mean put up with stuff you shouldn’t. This is a particularly complicated one because you everyone has different comfort zones. Someone might ask you to swing by their pot dealers house with the same carefree attitude they might use to ask you to hand them a napkin. A coworker might ask you to clock them back in when they have to take a long lunch and you might not be comfortable with that. Someone may ask to borrow money and you are strongly against lending money to friends. A brand might ask you to write a blog post for a product you don’t actually enjoy. The best way to know when to say know is to know your own values and be clear about what makes you uncomfortable.
When You Don’t Have The Time
We all have a lot on our plates, it’s the way of the world. We are constantly being pulled on or stimulated so sometimes for your own sanity you have to say no. This is very important if you are trying to build a blog/business or side hustle. You can’t say yes to everyone who asks if you’d like to write on their site (especially if they don’t pay). You can’t babysit your friend’s kid if you have a webinar tomorrow to rehearse for and a date tonight. Don’t overextend yourself.
You can’t pour from an empty cup. Make sure you have your cup taken care of before trying to fill everyone else’s. If you have to say no to someone to make sure you are taken care of never feel bad for that.
Because I’m really feeling the analogies today, here is another, it’s like when you’re flying in a plane, they tell you in the case of an emergency to put your mask on before helping anyone else put on their mask. How can you be useful to anyone else if you’re sitting there gasping for air?
When You Feel Taken Advantage Of
There is a fine line between doing a friendly favor and being someone’s doormat. “Hey can you give me the number of a residential realtor at your firm” is very different than “Hey will you list my house for me and take a lower fee than you normally would, since we are friends?”
Not everyone asking you for outlandish favors realizes how much they are asking of you. Often times you will be so good at something or make something look so easy they will assume that is isn’t time-consuming or complicated. I have had people I know in real life ask me about starting a blog and while I don’t mind sharing a few blog posts that helped me or telling them who I host with (Site Ground FTW), or which WordPress plugins I use for certain things but it took me over a month to create the original version of AllTheThingsIDo.com and am constantly spending time to update it as well so, “No, I won’t build your website for you.” I’ll answer a few questions for you, point you in the direction of my favorite tools and courses but people get paid for that sort of thing.
When It Will Cost You
Just like being taken advantage of you should feel free to say no if saying, yes will cost you. If you need to stay home and write some freelance posts for a little extra income perhaps don’t agree to help your friend move that day.
If you are low on funds and someone asks you for a ride but they never offer you gas money tell them the truth, “I’m trying to save my gas until payday. I’m sorry, I can’t.” They will either offer you gas money or understand.
There are times when you will suffer fiscal loss, time loss, or health loss if you say yes to certain things and you need to recognize those times and know when to say no.
When You Just Don’t Want To
I know what you’re thinking okay it’s one thing to say no to someone when you have a legitimate reason not to go to something but you can’t tell your friends, “I don’t feel like it.” Guess what? You totally can and chances are they do it to you from time to time too, they just make up an excuse.
But guess what else, you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone and sometimes, watching Netflix and ordering pizza will be more appealing than going to Sunday Funday with friends and that’s okay. You don’t want to be the friend who always says no and never wants to do anything fun but when you want to save money or have me time you are totally entitled to it.
Never feel bad for saying no. There is a difference between being a selfish, heartless, self-serving bastard that only thinks about themselves and being a badass boss who knows that life is about taking and giving and you need balance or you might go crazy. The truth of the matter is when you’re open and honest about saying no most people will get it and if they don’t boo on them!
Saying yes is easy but realizing your needs and standing up for yourself can be hard, just remember it’s your right.