Women do guilt so well it just stinks. We are guilty about whatever we do. If we work outside the home, if we don't. If we are strict with the kids or not. If we shortcut on supper and microwave a frozen pizza. If we spent too much time fixing an elaborate meal. If we baked Christmas cookies or if we didn't. You get the picture.
Another thing we guilt ourselves with is taking on anything that is asked of us whether we have the time or not. We feel that we will hurt someone's feelings or deprive our kids, church, friends, etc. if we say no. If we do say no we compound our guilt by explaining why was can't do the request. Are we dumb or what?
I'm going to help you free yourself from at least a little bit of all that guilt, if you'll let me. IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO AND GIVE NO REASON.
"Will you help with the school play? Will you do this whatever for whatever group you may or may not belong to or are interested in? Will you haul kids to the game? Heck, will you even go to the game? I know your kid is playing, but it won't damage them for life if you don't. It might just reduce your stress level if you don't.
You can say no to any and all of them and not give a reason. We who do the guilt thing seem to think we have to justify our refusal. Why? Because we feel guilty that we don't want to do what's been asked. It's not a valid guilt. It's a self imposed guilt with no basis in reality.
The world will not come crashing down around us if we say no and give no reason. It will keep rotating and revolving. Either someone else will do whatever it is or not. It might be that the activity needs to die a quiet death and you are helping it along. If a friend or colleague is hurt that you refused they aren't much of a friend or they would take what you say, that minimum, "I'm sorry but I can't fit that into my schedule" at face value and believe you.
Practice saying no in front of your mirror so you are ready the next time someone asks. "I'm sorry, but that won't fit into my schedule right now." Nothing else. Just that sentence. I'll bet few if any will ever challenge you for a reason why.
So give up the guilt, the stress and give no excuses. Guilt doesn't have to fit into your schedule. Just say no.
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Sophie Dawson is my pen name. The real me is the wife of a farmer in western Illinois.
I have two grown sons, one of which is married to a wonderful young woman. They gave us the most wonderful granddaughter ever in November of 2010. I'm not the least bit prejudice. :)