How to say no nicely, self care, decisions, the yes syndrome, ruckus and rubies, wellness

Hi, friend! It’s my mission to help others find balance and wellness for the spirit, mind, and body—in that order.

In follow-up to my very first post in the series on “wellness drainers”, The Yes Syndrome, I want to give you some ideas of what that looks like in everyday life.

When approached by someone with a need, we need to consider a few things to determine what our answer to their request might be:

  • Are we worried about what this person will think if we say no?
  • Am I already overwhelmed, overworked, over-committed?
  • Do you have time for the priorities in your life: God, Family, friends/loved ones?
  • If I say yes, will this answer still be good, beneficial, and acceptable tomorrow?
  • Have a taken time to seek wisdom before answering?
  • Considering my current responsibilities, do I have the capability and resources to add this to my to-do list?
  • Will saying yes to this request lead me down the wrong path?
  • What are the consequences of saying yes?
  • What can I say no to so that I can say yes to this current request?
  • Am I saying yes simply to impress?
  • Will a divine appointment or calling from God be sacrificed if I say yes?
  • If I say yes will I be repeating a mistake from the past, running myself in a vicious cycle?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you need to take a step back, tell your family you need just a little bit of silent time, pray more, and listen to the voice of God so you can discern what is The Next Right Thing for you to do. In helping you learn to say no in everyday life, I have listed some words of experience and wisdom below:

  • When approached by someone with a need, and you know right off the bat that it is not your best yes, let them know right then and there with a polite, “I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to help with that”.
  • If you can, commit to adding that request to your prayer list for The Lord to provide someone else to fulfill the request, and let the requester know you’ll be supporting them in prayer.
  • Soften your “no” with appreciation. Let the requester know that you are honored they thought of you.
  • Be honest about how you feel, that you truly want to say yes but your circumstances, time constraints, etc. requires you to say no.
  • Remember when you have discerned God’s direction, He will be with you and go with you when you say no.
  • Don’t let people guilt you or beg you to reconsider; remember your answer is firm.
  • If you have someone in mind that can fulfill the need, let the requester know. Don’t throw your friend or family member under the bus though–if you know they shouldn’t or can’t fulfill the request don’t suggest them.
  • Remember it is impossible to please everyone.
  • DON’T allow a complicated request become a tangled web of overwhelm! I have done this in the past, and have just recently done this. I allowed guilt to make me say yes to something I knew I couldn’t do. Now I’ll have a very complicated and overwhelming time fulfilling the request when the time comes. It will set me back about a week in our homeschooling, work, etc., and I will probably have to enlist help from others which means I’ve overwhelmed others in the process. Not a wise decision!


Remember: just because you say “no” doesn’t mean you don’t love others or aren’t willing to serve. If you make a habit of saying “yes” you will overwhelm yourself physically, spiritually, and you may cause stress for the person you are saying yes to or causing your family or friends to sacrifice what is important to them because you said yes instead of saying no when they are a priority and need you the most.

Now, take a deep breath. Pray and equip yourself with God’s power and presence, and practice these principles of saying no.

Tags: Categories: Decisions overwhelmed Saying No Wellness

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