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A Life Less Ordinary Challenge Seven: Learn To Say No, Without Guilt

21 February, 2012

Every day we have the opportunity to say yes, or no, to many things. Yes you can have a straw with your drink. No, you can’t play with play dough in the lounge room. Yes I will play Snakes and Ladders with you. Saying yes to our children is a good thing to do, especially when the only reason to say “no” is that it is what you automatically say without thinking.

However, there are many things that take us away from our families, take money from our wallets or time and energy away from more important things. There are things that are good and worthy but that aren’t best at this time. There are Bible Study groups and Garage Sales and classes and hobbies to attend to. There are blogs and magazines and websites and books to read. We can’t do it all. We have to say no sometimes.

I know I need to learn to say no, and say it without guilt. I also need to learn that sometimes all you need to do is politely say no. Not everyone needs an explanation as to why you aren’t able to attend their party (can’t get babysitting and you don’t like late nights) or you can’t be secretary of the committee (already have four nights a week where various members are out of the house and you want to protect the remaining family time) or you can’t do whatever it is that this person is asking of you. Of course, if they ask why you should answer as briefly as is polite but don’t feel that you have to offer an explanation upfront. A brief “Sorry we can’t make it” should be enough.

I’ve done it recently. So I want you to take up the challenge and say a guilt free “no” to something that is not best for you or your family right now.

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