How to Just Say No

This post was originally going to be titled “How to Celebrate Five”. As in 5 years of marriage. My husband and I just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary so it seemed to be the appropriate path. However, over the course of the last 2 weeks a more pressing subject has been flooding my brain, weighing it down. (I know what you’re thinking. More pressing than FIVE YEARS??!! Well, if I want the next five to be joy-filled, then yes.)

I don’t know about you all, but I have a tendency to be the Yes Girl.

Yes, I can fit your wedding shoot in after I get off work on Friday. You’ll need me the whole night? Okay then. And I won’t even charge you what I’m worth. Sure, I’ll help you move all of your personal belongings into my house and then help you move it again when you change your mind. Full time job and part time job and blogging and school. Babysitter, counselor, heavy hauler, party planner… no problem.

It’s not always bad to be willing to help and to put yourself out there. You know, helping others can be it’s own reward. But when the answer is always yes…

So, what’s the trick? When do you turn down an opportunity? When do you let the problems of others go in one ear and out the next without stepping in to help out? When do you say no?

I’ve formulated a five step program. I know, I’m really proud of me too!

Step 1: Evaluate.

What is going on in your life right now? Are you already spread thin? What are your top priorities right now and how does this new request fit into your already hectic schedule?

Step 2: Get Real

Sometimes we think we have to take things on because we are the only ones who can. Or because we think we are the only ones who can do it right. Be real with yourself. Is there someone else who might be able to plan that party, or at least split the chore list with you?

Step 3: Value

I find myself volunteering for things so that other people aren’t bothered with them. As if everyone else’s time is worth more than my own. And I’ve been told time and again that I have no idea what I’m worth. It’s time to start believing it. Your time is valuable and your life is important. You don’t have to say yes for others to see your value.

Step 4: Set Goals

If you have clear goals set for yourself it will be so much easier to say no to the things that do not fit into your plans. Of course, things will come up here and there that can’t be avoided. There will be things that may pull you away from your work briefly. But having a clear goal in mind will help you shave away the un-necessaries and give you a reason to get right back to ‘The Plan’ when you do have to step off the trail for a moment.

Step 5: Choose Your Words

Sometimes choosing your words simply means NOT choosing words. Just listening and sympathizing with your friends plight is probably enough. You don’t have to jump in and offer to do, do, do. This, for me, is the hardest step. As soon as I see a solution I jump in.

And sometimes choosing your words means to Just Say  No.

by Expert Mommy, Jennifer Burden


  1. No. Period. Why is this is challenging? I had and experience recently… where I asked a question and got the longest, most convoluted answer which really came down to… NO.

    Not “No. Exclamation Point.” Just No. Period.

    It’s okay. You don’t have to justify your no. No is okay.

  2. Oh my gosh! I hate when that happens…Please, if you don’t want to do something just let me know. Not going to hurt my feelings. I don’t need a four part series complete with a climax and wrap up to let me know you aren’t up for it.

    YOU are awesome=)