I have a very stressful job. Anyone working in a customer service profession can understand how exhausting it is to be on a people-pleasing overdrive. There is the balance of meeting the needs of your customers, in my case patients, as well as the expectations of your leadership, and also being available to help your co-workers in the midst of their equally difficult work shift. For those of us working stressful jobs, we often bring the stress home with us. I frequently have “nursing nightmares,” and I have heard people in other jobs, like the restaurant industry, describe their equally horrifying “server nightmares.”
So how do we come home from our day-to-day jobs and turn off the constant “service” mentality? How do we find ways to sleep peacefully, and to not bring extra stress into our home lives?
I often find myself in my personal or social life with the same ‘cater to others’ mentality. But there are appropriate times to say no, to make yourself a priority, and to make it known to others that your needs and wants are important. This does not constitute you as a selfish person. Instead it allows you to be assertive, healthy, and stable, and other people will come to respect you for it! Now, it is never appropriate or acceptable to say no to things that are your responsibility.
With that being said, I’ve established a list for myself of times it is appropriate to say no, and maybe it can help others who have the same problem!
1. Always say no to things that involve spending money you don’t have.
Even if it is helping another person. You cannot reach beyond your means and beyond your budget to help others.
2. Always say no to favors that negatively enable another person.
Even if this person is not involved with a life destroying habit, if you are enabling them to continue a negative habit, you are not helping, you are hurting.
3. Always say no to moochers.
If a person in your life continually uses your kindness to their advantage, say no. This is not a friendship or positive relationship. Don’t fool yourself!
4. Always say no if the request interferes with your responsibilities.
If you say yes to a request that replaces your time for family, God, your children, your health, you will find yourself weak, drained, and less effective and successful in each aspect of your life!