I blurted this out one day while venting to a beady buddy about a seed bead deadline I surely could not meet in this lifetime! The requester kept pushing me, then looked at me in disappointment expecting a legitimate reason for saying, "No." As I relayed this situation to my friend I said, "NO is a complete sentence," and she ROTFLOL (Rolled On The Floor Laughing Out Loud) and sputtered, "that's brilliant!" This seemed to me common sense, but as I looked back on scenes from my past realizing just how long it took me to say that dreaded word "NO" (minus the guilt), I realized common sense is not so common.
I was raised in a household where we did whatever it took to keep mom happy, tied in with the Midwestern "Minnesota-Nice" credo and a splash of guilt (over nearly everything), and you end up barely able to spell the word NO much less say it out loud! I was labeled as the "people pleaser" in my family with the impossible task of keeping peace, and took that role very seriously. "Sure, youbetcha I'll bring more Jello salad and dessert bars to the party; Okay-Dokay a ride to the airport at 3am-no problem; Oh, donchaknow, wedding jewelry for your entire wedding party of 18 by next weekend-I'm on it!" I'm sure I'm not alone here and many of you know this drill ...
Most things I agreed to were not a burden and I thoroughly enjoy helping folks out but as I looked back, I realized NO wasn't even considered an option. And in the rare cases when I did say NO, due to a conflict or the request was simply humanly impossible, I was compelled to spend countless moments justifying why I said no. There had to be enough sufficient reason(s) to utter N-O without leaving the requestor feeling rejected, and end up disappointing them! ZOIKES! That's the true OS (Operating System) beneath this inability to spit out two simple letters: N-O. They might not like me!
|I simply could not live with someone disliking me! WOW! What a tough ride this lifetime would be, volleying for this unrealistic position. Filled with insecurity and a deep, dark well of "not-good-enough-itis" I put everyone else's needs ahead of mine and after years of numerous attempts to shift this undesirable behavior, I've finally arrived ... well on my good days! I give myself permission to actually think before agreeing to EVERYTHING and tap into my inner "worthiness" to see how the request feels in my gut (imagine that). I ask myself, is it in alignment with my values, core beliefs and intention for a win-win situation? Am I burning the candle at both ends which ultimately ends up with bailing out ANYWAY when the deadline is not met, or I'm sick in bed with the flu due to working 18-hour days trying to please everyone AGAIN ... well, you get the picture.
"NO"-Your New BFF
||Just by being here on the planet we all have the basic right to say NO without any explanation. I invite you to sit with that for a moment ... how does it feel? Anything like: panic, shakiness, lack of breath or hyperventilating? If so, you may need to look at this topic, my dear, dig deeply and make friends with NO. You'll feel a sense of strength and power by standing your ground and embracing some boundaries. Besides, saying NO more frequently will free you to be able to say "YES" to more beading (I offered this last bit as a last ditch effort to reach you, I kind of apologize for hitting below the belt but I knew that would reach you). We need to look at our precious 24 hours and decide what makes us feel good, productive and empowered. Toss out the guilt, obligation and need to please-itis and pick up your beading needle, my beady peep. You need time for YOU! And when the kids or hubby comes to you while you're winding down and beading a puppy pattern or peyote at 10pm and says, "can you make me a sandwich?" try saying NO. It's a complete sentence ...
"Bravo to Kristal for her honesty and for addressing the issue. NO is a complete sentence. Bye bye guilt. Life is to precious to be a people pleaser. A big hug and thanks to Kristal."
||We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article ""NO" is a Complete Sentence," as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.
"Love the article. We ALL need to be reminded of this from time to time!"
""No" is exactly what I needed to hear today! Thanks!"
"Simply Brilliant!!! Food for thought ... We all crave more time to bead, yet, we are always reluctant to say "NO" to others and thus give/sacrifice our time for them, but we never think twice about saying "NO" to ourselves."
"I really liked the article. I am guilty of offering my help to EVERYONE, and saying "YES" to EVERYTHING! I need to stand in front of a mirror and practice this word called "NO." I used to do a lot of beading (actually making beads over a flame), and now I concentrate mainly on stained glass and glass fusing. I find that I never have the time to work on my projects, which is my business, because I am constantly working on projects outside of the scope of my glass creation. By the time I think I can go into my studio to be productive, I am too exhausted to get those creative juices flowing. The article gave me a chance to revisit the possibility that I can say "NO," and not have to offer and explanation! Thank you!!"
"I think that is good advice! I'm very close to saying NO to some people who want me to continue to do something I used to like doing before the picky people took over! I think I'll tell them "No is a complete sentence" when they ask me for an explanation!"
"I almost used my NO on the survey, but the article was too, too good!"
"TEN HIGH FIVES!!!!! Just what I needed to read today. I have a couple of ladies who have "Purchased" rings from me recently, who have not "paid" for them yet. Your article of ""NO" is a Complete Sentence" is just the right info for me to call and collect payment! THANKS. Love your products and great ideas etc."
"Hi, Great article by Kristal. How many of us are guilty of trying to please everyone? Probably most of us. By saying 'no' I’ve discovered I do my best work when I’m not trying to please someone else."
"LOVE this article!!!!! Saying no is definitely hard and hearing it 'spelled' out so clearly is wonderful! Thank you Kristal!!!!!!"
"What a refreshing thought! It only took me 65 years to learn to say no ... occasionally, at least! We do need time to please ourselves just to keep the sanity. Thanks for the positive way to say NO ...
"That was an awesome article! I posted it on Facebook! It speaks to me because I'm also a people pleaser that has a tough time saying no. I not only make jewelry, but I also sew, re-wire and remake old lamps, put furniture together, re-finish and repair old furniture, and do most of my own plumbing. Thank you for the excellent article!"
"What an awesome article, Kristal! I didn’t know you were from Minnesota! Reading your article was as if you were reading my mind! Thank you so much for your insight and advice. I want to pass your article on to my sister who does not live in Minnesota but still tries to please everyone and it causes her so much stress. I’m sure it contributed to her breast cancer diagnoses 8 years ago. Keep up the great work on Fire Mountain!"
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