Wednesday, October 22, 2008
My Favorite Word
During the summer I agreed to an additional school assignment. My supervisor was so wrong when she assured me that it wouldn't be too taxing for my 2.5 days/week. I'm behind and stressed. The larger caseload is a factor but the main reason that I am struggling to keep up is because my disease to please has turned VIRAL. I am taking on a lot of assignments that aren't part of my job in an attempt to be all things to all people.
I know that this is as common for women as monthly cramps and I need some advice. However, before you get all Nancy Reagan Just-Say-No on me, let me note that I stink at direct refusals and that this is a deeply-seeded problem. Here's an issue summary:
I am a RESCUER at heart. I know that most people will benefit from a natural consequence of their situation but I like to help people avoid even mild pain.
I am thankful for my many blessings. Most of what I do is in the spirit of "where much is given..." I think that every opportunity to say YES is just giving back for what I have been given.
I feel able. I have a lot to give and some of what I do takes on an egotistical flavor. It makes me feel stronger, smarter, better than what I really think I am.
I am last on my priority list. I will rearrange my schedule and neglect even important things to indulge someone else's request.
I love the rewards of saying yes. I am totally addicted to sincere thank yous and statements of awe. "Thank you so much. You really saved my life today." "Wow. I don't know how you can do so much for other people and still take care of..."
I learned from the best. Sometimes my mom would tell us not to answer the phone or yell, "I'm not here!" when it rang because she could not take the chance of having to say no to whomever was needing at the time. She often ran herself ragged doing for others.
I am disappointed in a neighbor who has the opposite problem. She NEVER says yes! She hoards her service for things she wants to do or feels are worthy of her contribution. "I just don't have the time/energy/resources to..." I don't buy it. She has a lot to give.
So, loyal friends and readers, FIX ME.
How do you choose what to say yes to?
When and how do you say NO? How do you resolve or avoid guilt feelings when you do say no?