I am a people pleaser. I don’t like disappointing people, and I truly like to help. The problem is that too many times the ones who I end up disappointing are the ones I should be striving to please, my family.
My husband has made it clear that for him, my priority should be to our kids and our home. He gets frustrated when outside commitments interfere with much needed family time. He has urged me many times over the past few years to say no to things that don’t truly matter. This encouragement to say no has made a huge difference in how I handle matters outside the home.
So, how do I say no with grace? And how do I choose what outside commitments matter? Here are some things I ask myself or do before saying yes or no.
o Pray, and ask the Lord’s guidance. Is it the Lord’s will that I complete this responsibility? If I am not sure, I pray about the situation, and ask my husband to pray as well.
o Don’t make a rash decision. If it is something, I am not sure about doing then I ask for a day or two to think and pray about it before saying yes or no. I may tell the person I need to check my calendar or speak with my husband.
o By saying yes, am I saying No to something else? What will I have to say No to if I say yes to this request?If the answer is my children, my husband, or family time then I need to evaluate the importance of the request.
o Could someone else do this? Is the person asking me to fulfill this commitment because I usually do it? If so, could someone else step in and take my place?
As a people pleaser, it has been hard to sometimes say no to things. Especially when there are so many opportunities and activities that can fill up my calendar. However, saying no to things has been a huge blessing for my family. Each week we have made the decision to spend one whole day (at least) at home. This one day of rest and relaxation has been more beneficial than I could have ever imagined.
We have also cut back on the children’s activities. Each child gets one activity per season. We have also chosen to only do one homeschool activity each week. That is it! This has been easier than I thought it would be and ensures that the chosen activity is one that they will truly enjoy.
Saying no can be hard at first. But, if you feel wore down, and feel that your home and family could be better blessed by saying no more often, I encourage you to do it! Get out your calendar and find activities you can cut back on or completely cut out. Once you have a more simplified schedule, and have some practice saying no I would bet that you will feel a lot more relaxed and less stressed when you complete those “yes” activities!