The Art of Saying No


We are wives. We are mothers. We are friends. We are daughters. We are co-workers. We are members of organizations and societies. So, the question remains at large: When do we find time to be ourselves? Unfortunately, the answer to this question may very well be never—that is, until today’s woman learns the art of saying “No.”

We say it enough throughout the day—usually in response to a toddler placing themselves in harms way, or when sibling rivalries are on the rampage. When you learn how to put the word “No” into practice to gain valuable personal time, you’ll finally remember what it is like to be yourself, and your entire family will benefit in the process.

What can a person who says “No” accomplish? Anything you set your mind to. Unfortunately, for women who are so used to saying “Yes” to everything asked of them, you may find the word “No” lodging in your throat until you practice saying it over and over again.

Tips for saying “No” gracefully and planning personal breaks:

1. Prioritize

Prioritize. We all have things we want to do, need to do, and have to have done yesterday. Figure out what these are, and list them.

2. Remove and/or delegate

Remove and/or delegate! Find at least three things that you can cross off your list, or delegate to someone else.

3. Plan your personal break

Just make a simple plan for your personal break. Work 30 minutes of YOU time into every day. Take some time with yourself just being you. Do one thing for you, and no one else, each day.

4. DO NOT agree to anything that will interfere with your planned personal break

DO NOT agree to anything that will interfere with your planned personal break. Period!

The demands for modern women are astronomical. Even our free time isn’t free. It’s spent posting pictures of your loved ones on your Facebook page, organizing your shopping list, or coordinating play-date, team rosters, or planning get-togethers with friends. When you do finally get time to take a break, invariably the phone rings, it’s time to prepare meals, or race off to drag kids or grandkids from point A to point B.

By prioritizing, delegating, and most importantly by saying “No” to things that others can do without your help, you can find time to be yourself again. Have a quiet cup of coffee. Turn on the stereo to your favorite tunes, and drink in your life. Don’t spend time worrying about what you ought to be doing. Spend some quality time with yourself and do what you want to. Your family, friends, and co-workers will all benefit from your personal break.