I started this little essay way back in April of 2016 and it has sat in my drafts ever since. Now, I should stop procrastinating and finish this!
What do you mean you “just need to finish this first” gawd, I ask you to do one thing for me, just one little thing and you can’t or won’t just do it. Am I not that important to you or are you just so self involved that taking time out to do something for me is beneath you.
But really whose standards are they, ones set by others, set by ourselves, society or a combination?
“Doing Good vs Being Good”
Sometimes is like walking on a tightrope. Stretched so far, a thin line, high above the ground, our feelings are torn. In one lung we breath in fresh oxygen and pleasantries of making others happy with our invested time and the other lung becomes clogged with the toxins of the stresses for self neglected and occasional lack of appreciation. We become consumed in not wanting to let others down. We are teetering on the ruin of ourselves.
It’s a fever-pitch when we want to take time for ourselves. Why some become almost insulted when we do so is utterly surprising. After all, we tell each other to always make sure we have our “me time”, in fact, I urge it. so, why when we do this is it such an issue with others?
Have we not given enough of ourselves to others?
Where is the line to be drawn?
Why are we forced to choose between happiness for ourselves and making others happy?
Can there not ever be a simple balance without high-drama or someone else trying to make us feel bad?
Is it ever victimless?
Surely I don’t possess all the answers but my thoughts are this, I know doing good for others makes them feel good, makes us feel good and it is a joy worth spreading. But, when others become greedy or ungrateful for our time and fail to see how much of our “me time” we give up to make this possible, we need to take back control and learn how to say “NO” in the kindest way possible of course unless they refuse to see the writing on the wall, then it’s time for us to put our foot down and just say “No, damn it”. We are allowed to say that. We’ve earned it. Our time is valuable and should be respected.
Does saying “No” make us bad guys?
There is a gentle are of saying no but it doesn’t have to be difficult or put a strain on your friendship/relationship.
Tips for learning of Saying No gently:
Value your time.
Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Personally, I keep a Day Timer Planner and a Project Book. When someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.
It’s okay to tell them: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.” and if they cannot understand that and become angry with you, it’s on them, not you, so don’t feel bad that you said no.
Know your priorities.
If you do have extra time (which is rare), is this new request from you really the way you want to spend that time?
For myself, I know that more commitments mean less me-time. It is vital to put aside time for yourself. You may wish to meditate for a while, soak in the tub, go for a walk, listen to some music or make something to eat.
Practice saying no.
Practice makes perfect, right?.
Saying “no” as often as we can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no, I just can’t right now, no apology. Eventually, they’ll get the message. They may get a little angry but that feeling is entirely on them. You’ve stood your ground, good for you.
We usually start out with “I’m sorry but …” because we were brought up with manners. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes us sound weak.
We need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding our time.
Stop being nice.
It’s important to be polite, but being nice all the time by saying yes all the time only hurts us in the end. When we make it easy for people to grab our time, they will continue to do it.
But if you keep firm, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by staying firm and turning down things that are just not top priority for you.
Get back to you.
It’s okay to tell the person asking that you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities.
If you are just not able to help out it’s okay to say “After giving this some thought, and checking my calendar/schedule, I won’t be able to accommodate your request at this time.”
**At least you gave it some consideration**
So, you see, the moral of this essay is you can still remain a good personal avoid any dilemmas and stay true to yourself without hurting someone else’s feelings.
Until Next time…….
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