Skip to content

Sometimes it’s good to say no

June 23, 2013

I recently read this thought-provoking article on LinkedIn; ‘Three words that will transform your career’.  It suggests that your mantra should be ‘help this person’ in every situation and your life will be all the better for it (or at least that’s how I would surmise it in one sentence.  You may want to read the whole article to draw your own conclusion).

I like the idea of it; after all, who doesn’t want to be seen as helpful?  And yet, I do wonder if sometimes, selfishly, the person you should be focusing on helping is yourself.

Take my week for example.  I’ve certainly tried to help people all day, every day, at work.  Sometimes that’s teaching them to do things so that the next time they’ll be able to do it for themselves.  Outside of work, I’ve tried to help my husband, my friends and my family, doing the little things I can through a busy week to let them know I’m there for them and I love them. 

But I had two food-related requests for help this week that I thought long and hard about before saying no.  One was a request for some free cakes for a cake sale.  It was a fundraising event, but not a charitable organisation.  As I’ve already donated over £300 of free cakes this year alone to charity and I had a cake order to do this week anyway (not to mention a full-time job), I thought it was fair to myself to say no.  But I full explained why and encouraged them to ask again for future events.

The second was to go on the food programme of a local radio show.  I’ve done it a few times and have enjoyed it in the past, but I’m no longer getting as much personal satisfaction from it and, as they don’t pay any expenses, it costs me money at a time when the husband and I are trying to be super frugal.  So I politely declined this opportunity too, giving clear reasons and thanking them for asking me.

To start with, I felt a bit bad on both accounts, until I realised that after a few days, I’d not heard back from either of the people.  They were quick to ask but haven’t bothered to get in touch since.  A great shame, I think.  On top of this, I’ve come to realise that if I had said yes to either or both, it would have made me a bit miserable at the time and those around me would suffer from that (as I’m usually an irritatingly happy lady), therefore by saying no, I was actually indirectly helping the people around me that matter more.

So, by all means, think about how you can ‘help this person’, and at times that will mean putting others before yourself, but don’t forget that you’re a ‘person’ too.  And sometimes you have to say ‘no’ to help yourself be a better person.


From → My thoughts

Leave a Comment

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: