Thursday, December 20, 2012


Dear Peg,
When people ask me for help I always say “yes” regardless of how inconvenient, but when I need something everyone is always too busy!   Should I get new friends? Thanks, NR

Hi NR,

Great question and not uncommon! Saying yes when you want to say no does more harm than good. It is such a great recipe for burnout and resentment potentially damaging your relationships to the point of extinction creating the very thing we fear the most! We all need love and connection and we all fear losing it.
So, why DO you “always” say yes?  What do you fear will happen if you say no? Do you fear losing friends? Do you fear not being liked? Are you afraid to hurt their feelings? On the other hand do you keep score, make yourself feel justified and add your yeses to your arsenal for a prepared attack?  
It’s a mix of intention, honesty and values. Here is an easy way to break this resentment building pattern and create stronger relationships at the same time. Before you say Yes to the next invitation or request ask yourself:  Am I saying yes out of fear or out of love? Here's what I mean. Yesterday I was asked to table for a non-profit organization.  It was a Sunday, which typically is reserved for time at home.  I made the decision to go, but not out of fear: “I better say yes or they will think I am not dedicated” but, rather out of my love to help and contribute to that cause.  Do you see the difference?  I have said no to friends, family and work and I KNOW it is not easy or comfortable, but guess what?  They are still in my life and they still love me!  If you lose love and friendships because of this then it may not have been an honest and authentic relationship to begin with.
Use this question for all of your situations.  If you honestly want to say yes but feel time consumed you need to decide what and how to prioritize.  If you decide you can’t or honestly do not want to do something it’s OKAY! Be honest with yourself and your loved ones.  I would much rather have someone honestly and kindly say no to me than have them not fully present and secretly building resentment; wouldn’t you? 
“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” Mahatma-Gandhi

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Live More Everyday! :)


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