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Wisdom-Trek © - H. Guthrie Chamberlain, III 23rd August 2019
Day 1198 – How to Say No – Ask Gramps
00:00:00 00:08:43

Day 1198 – How to Say No – Ask Gramps


Wisdom-Trek / Creating a Legacy

Welcome to Day 1198 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.

This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom

How to Say No – Ask Gramps

Wisdom – the final frontier to true knowledge. Welcome to Wisdom-Trek where our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, to seek out discernment and insights, and to boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before.

Hello, my friend, I am Guthrie Chamberlain, your captain on our journey to increase wisdom and create a living legacy. Thank you for joining us today as we explore wisdom on our 2nd millennium of podcasts. This is Day 1198 of our trek, and it is time for our Philosophy Friday series. Each Friday, we ponder some of the basic truths and mysteries of life, and how they can impact us in creating our living legacy.

As we continue on this trek called life, sometimes we have questions about life, so our Friday trek is a time when we can “Ask Gramps.” Gramps will answer questions that you would like to ask your dad or granddad, but for whatever reason, you are unable to. No matter how old we are, I know that all of us would like the opportunity to ask Dad or Gramps questions about life in many areas.

We may mix it up a bit on our Friday episodes but will strive to keep them down to earth and enjoyable. If you have any questions that you would like to ask Gramps, please email them to guthrie@wisdom-trek.com.

So the question for this week is:

“Hey Gramps, I find it a challenge to say no to people, and often, I end up with more commitments than I’m comfortable with. However, if I say no, I worry about them being unhappy or offended. Why do I feel this way? How can I learn to say no and not end up feeling bad about it or not offending the other person?” 

How to Say No

There will always be endless requests on your time from other people and organizations. This advice is not from a selfish perspective but to help maintain a proper perspective and balance by realizing that you cannot serve others if you are completely drained yourself because you never say no.  Do you hate saying no? Are you always saying yes to others at the expense of yourself?

I’ll admit it — I even find it very hard to say no. Whenever someone approached me for something, be it to pick my brain or assist them on a personal project, I would say yes. Part of it was because I didn’t want to leave others in the lurch. Part of it was because I didn’t want to disappoint people. Another part was because I was afraid that the other person would be unhappy if I said no.

Over time, though, I realized that saying yes came with its consequences. Because if I kept saying yes to everyone, I would have little time for the things that are my high payoff activities. My days would be filled with things that others wanted from me, with little to no time for things of my own. I would become a slave to other people’s agendas. Saying yes when you should be saying no will catch up to you and you will have to regularly sacrifice your sleep just so that you can be there for everyone, and it won’t be long before you become burnt out.

In an ideal world, we want to say yes to everyone, sure. But as you can see from the above scenario, saying “yes” to everyone isn’t the way to go. You need to say no in order to:

  • Set boundaries. When you don’t draw a line between your needs and others’ needs, people will assume that you should give by default. When you say no, you start to set boundaries and protect your personal space.
  • Have time for your high payoff activities. These are the most important tasks and goals in your life, such as finding your passion, starting your business, and building your relationships with your loved ones. Saying no is about protecting your high payoff activities and making sure that you have time for the activities that will produce the greatest results in life.
  • Care for yourself. Often times, we are so busy saying yes to others that we forget to say yes to ourselves. When’s the last time you cared for yourself? Are you neglecting yourself because you’re spending all your time on others? Saying no is about caring for yourself and your health.

Yet for many of us, we find it tough to say no. This can be due to a…

  • Fear of making others unhappy
  • Fear of conflict
  • Fear of being seen as difficult
  • Fear of disappointing others
  • Fear of damaging the relationship
  • Fear of missing out

Each fear drives us to say yes when we really want to say no. This is because we don’t want to lose the relationship or be seen as a bad, non-caring, and evil person.

While I can empathize, and these are the same reasons that kept most everyone saying yes in the past, you have to ask yourself: Which do I value more, my time and my well-being, or making others happy? Because saying no is about valuing your time and yourself. While you can spend all your time making others happy, ultimately this will lead to burnout. It’s not possible to make everyone happy. Neither should it be your responsibility to do so. We are responsible for our own happiness, peace, and joy.

I am prone to avoid conflict and saying yes is a way to prevent conflict. But in the end, this will create the biggest conflict — within myself. As you say one “yes” after another, you will soon realize that the requests from others will never end. Unless you draw a line and say no, you’ll forever be saying yes to others and no to yourself. That is not healthy long term nor necessarily the best for those who are requesting.

There are many appropriate times that you do need to help and care for others, but if you burn out because you never say no, you will not have anything for others. An empty water jug cannot refresh others. If you value your time and happiness, you need to start saying no. Realize that when you choose to say yes to one choice, you are automatically saying no to another choice. Know that saying no is normal and in fact necessary — people reject others every day and there’s nothing negative about that. Only by honoring your needs can you take proper care of yourself, and be of service to the world.

Matthew [5:37]

Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

I hope these tips will help you just say no when it is appropriate, realizing that each time you say yes to someone, then you are saying no to another person, or yourself. That is a wrap for today’s question. Join us again next Friday for another question on our “Ask Gramps” episode. Our next trek is Mediation Monday, where we will help you reflect on what is most important in life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along on Monday for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.

If you would like to listen to any of the past 1197 daily treks or read the associated journals, they are all available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player so each day will be downloaded to you automatically.

Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all, your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.

As we take this trek together, let us always:

  1. Live Abundantly (Fully)
  2. Love Unconditionally
  3. Listen Intentionally
  4. Learn Continuously
  5. Lend to others Generously
  6. Lead with Integrity
  7. Leave a Living Legacy Each Day

I am Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Everyday! See you on Monday!