Singlestalk: No, non, nein, neyt-A A +A
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Michelle: When I want to learn a language, one of the words that I know first is “yes.” The other is “no.” It comes in handy when you're asked about something and you don’t know or understand, or when you’re offered something and you’re not interested. All you have to do is say no, accompanied by a shake of your head. Many actually find it difficult to say no.
We sometimes do not realize that we are overwhelmed with all the things we have to do because we want to be liked and want to please others, especially our family and friends. There’s nothing wrong with declining to do something when it is no longer in the best interest of your health and well being if you continue saying yes.
DJ: I think we should never say no when asked to live up to our accountabilities. But it is okay to say no when asked to do something outside our responsibilities, particularly when we’re already joggling too many activities into too little a time. This is something I need to learn more this year.
Saying no is not selfish. It’s one way of honoring our existing commitments by giving them the quality time they ought to have.
Saying no is not about slacking. When our plate is piled high with too many obligations, our attention is diverted from activities that truly matter.
And everyone, including ourselves, end up vexed!
M: Restraint and discipline is difficult. This includes saying no to things, people or circumstances that can be detrimental to us. Last December I decided that I would stop eating pork while undergoing a detoxification program. It was a struggle to say no to the ubiquitous lechon at every Christmas party. I got through December and until now without pork.
I have yet to say no to desserts. It is harder to say no to doing things that are expected of us. There is the guilt of possibly disappointing people if we say no. At work for example, how can one say no to a boss who asks that you render overtime yet again?
What about when he asks that you watch his dog, pick up his laundry or have his car washed?
DJ: Life becomes easier when we learn to nicely say no. How? By knowing our priorities. Once we’re clear about where to spend our time, we’re in a better position to say no.
Perhaps you’re genuinely busy with what’s essential to you. Or perhaps what they’re asking you to do doesn’t play to your strengths.
Be honest. And be prepared to miss an opportunity, no matter how exciting it sounds. You already know what your priorities are. When we say no to something unimportant to us, we also say yes to those that add value into our life. Besides, saying no might just open doors for others to step up. They may do things differently but that’s okay. They’ll find their own way just as you did.
M: If you are struggling with taking more than you can handle, it’s time to step back and set boundaries before over-commitment can burn you out. The willingness to serve is a good trait. However, when you do things for others and their requests divert your focus and attention from what you need to prioritize, it may lead to resentment, frustration and stress.
Selflessness is a good virtue and putting others before oneself is admirable. But learning to say no when it is appropriate and necessary shows that you respect yourself and that is how you gain respect from others.
DJ: There are lots of things we’re compelled to do when in reality we really don’t have to. Let’s have the wisdom to know the difference, and the courage to act as appropriate. Life will continue to hand us opportunities to help. Sometimes we can. Sometimes we can’t. But we’re still good people nevertheless.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 24, 2013.