Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saying No.

Over the past few years I've written a number of times about boundaries, creating space, and learning to let go of things. It never gets any easier for me. I'm a people pleaser to the extreme and I have an impossibly hard time saying no, even when I desperately want too. Over the past few weeks this has really come to a head for me.

I'm tired of meeting other people's expectations. I'm sick of being miserable in situations because I can't say no. I'm exhausted of keeping up with my over commitments.

I drove into work in tears a few days back with the weight of trying to balance it all. Church, family, friends, work, my house, my sanity, my blog, my goals, my weight. I finally sat down and thought, 'something has to give'.

I thought through what I could and couldn't eliminate. I started by writing an apologetic e-mail to an author I'd agreed to write a book review for. It was almost a week into April and she hadn't been able to give us a full copy of the book yet and I'm leaving on the 21st for Haiti. It was looming over my head and I thought, 'I don't have to do this'. I was sorry to go back on what I told her I'd do, but with a week and a half less time than I thought she was giving me, it didn't make the cut.

At the risk of sounding selfish I spent the next few days thinking about what I really want. What makes sense for me. What I need to do. But really, focusing on what I want out of the rest of this year. I felt so torn in a million directions and so overwelmed by everyone else's needs and desires. Their needs and desires were costing me dearly. It was time to take a step back and trim some fat. It was time to get real, honest, and maybe even a little selfish.

Too many of my relationships have entered the 80/20 zone. The zone where I'm putting in 80% of the effort to their 20% and I just can't maintain that long term. I believe all healthy relationships have an ebb and flow where each person takes on a little more of the weight for periods of time when necessary. But I was baring too much of the weight for too long.

I have entered a time in my life where I have to learn to say no. I'm 1 week out from leaving the country, 2 weeks out from renovating my house (1 day after reentering the country, mind you), 6 weeks out from my DC trip, 6 weeks out from the beginning of my busiest months of work and travel...and well, you get the idea. I've got a lot on my plate and I'm exhausted. I don't want the quality of my time, work, and effort to suffer because I keep finding myself saying yes when I know I need to say no.

I'm tearing up just writing this because I hate it and it's hard for me. But I'm spending the next few months clearing out some of my time and responsibilities. I need to make time to recover and relax. I've hit my breaking point, and now it is time to rebuild.



Anonymous said...

I am a people pleaser too. I know where you are coming from and it is OK to put yourself first! Don't let it get you down! Keep your head up friend!

Jessica said...

I love you!!!!

Café Moka said...

Oh girl, it's totally ok to say no! For your sanity!!!

Joey said...

You have so quickly become one of my best friends, and I'm so grateful for the effort that you are constantly putting in. You have such a great way of making everyone feel so loved and important. It is always okay to say no. It is always okay to take care for yourself. And it is ALWAYS okay to be selfish. You have the kindest heart, and I'm lucky to call you friend!

Kristin said...

My husband is totally a people pleaser and he's run himself ragged at times. I'm the opposite. I mean, maybe I'm selfish, but honestly, I refuse to run myself ragged. I've don't it in the past, and it's not worth it. Relationships can be the hardest to cut, but if someone isn't giving you what you're giving them, it isn't a real relationship. I hope you figure this out, Becca!

Kari said...

I can relate to being a people pleaser, but it's okay to set healthy boundaries and limits. It really helped me a few years ago. I'm of the belief that saying no sometimes increases your value to others, because them knowing that you have other priorities will help them see that they don't get to put in just 20% of the effort if they want a real friendship. It's like playing hard-to-get with a guy: they want you all the more when they can't have you all the time. It works with friends, co-workers, etc. too. I'll be thinking about you!

Nichole said...

Oh how I can relate. I just posted a very similar blog post about a month ago on the same thing. It is so hard to say no but I agree with what you've said. It will all work out.Love ya!