Just Say No

One thing I’ve recently learned is that the word “no” is a complete sentence. For some reason in our culture, we feel led to giving others long, drawn out speeches as to why we can’t participate, do something, go somewhere, etc. Our embarrassment over having to decline someone by saying no is underscored by giving immediate excuses highlighted and given in a long speech. We feel like we have to explain. In this sense, our lives become plundered by questions, raised eyebrows, and an overall sense of feeling like we are in the defense zone. We feel bad for saying no. We feel guilty for saying no. We feel embarrassed for saying no.

I know I do.

My mentor recently told me, “no” is a complete sentence. It’s okay to simply say no.

Living with chronic illness or injury requires extra effort to keep up. We wear out easy, things are harder, take longer, and leave us wiped out.

If I push myself or allow others to push me, my brain injury pushes back harder! I have learned out of necessity I need to say no. It’s not a preference, at times it’s a requirement.

If you don’t feel up to going, or up to doing what others ask…….simply say no. If you’ve had your personal space, or your boundary lines crossed, just say no. If it’s against your beliefs or makes you uncomfortable, just say no. Or maybe if you’re like me and you just have nothing left to give, just say no.

We are not obligated to constantly feel like we need to explain. The minute we start giving out reasons as to why we say no, it’s giving others a chance at convincing us to say yes. They will try to overthrow our no, by undermining our reasons and then we feel pressured to change and give in.

Yes, there are times when it’s necessary to give an explanation and in those cases, the person you may need to say no to may need to understand for important reasons. That’s when we must be ready to give our reason(s) tactfully and not allow them to make us feel badly for declining their request.

If we feel like it’s not respectful to simply and tactfully say no……let me ask you this; will others respect your no or try to turn it into their yes? Will a long drawn out explanation with roman numerals and subpoints A and B be respected? If not…..then your no is not being respected and quite possibly neither are you.

Photo taken by my mentor

Much love,

Viv

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Author: Vivian

I'm a TBI warrior whose hope and strength comes from God.

57 thoughts on “Just Say No”

    1. This is wonderful! And I saw myself in these words. As one that also lives with chronic pain, it is hard enough to deal with our day to day pain, while also caring for our homes and family. But dealing with others, family specifically is downright draining. I am also practicing the art of ‘no’ because I don’t fend for myself and my health, no one will. Loved this Viv!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. VERY true Ana! If we don’t speak up and defend ourselves absolutely no one else will. I learned that the hard way. God has given me the courage in this area for which I’m so grateful. He is my defense and yours too and He’s rooting for us, big time. Love ya!!πŸ™β€πŸ€—

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      2. The hard way – yes! I continue to ask for that courage. It’s incredibly hard to say, no. It seems silly in a way, why is saying no so hard? Why is declining an invitation, etc., so hard? Why are others put before my own health?

        It’s truly mind blowing to people to even consider that loud noise, crowds, a room filled with people, bright lights, etc, make me physically sick. It doesn’t register to anyone. Why? Is it because they don’t have to live with that.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh my dear Ana yes, and Yes! They truly can’t understand because it’s just so different from their normal. I have told some that I’m just not smart enough to make all these symptoms up, because they act like I’m lying or dreaming it up. I get sick too and then dizzy🀒 Oh, if only ppl could live my symptoms for one day…..it feels at times I’m the star character in my own personal Twilight Zone episode because my TBI reality is real but to others it’s just only real to me. πŸ€• Hugs precious! 😍😚

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It truly has been Wendi. The last phone conversation I had with my sister was over me not being able to help her with her son by caring for him after school. That was about 2 months ago. I can’t bring on to care for another child when my body is just getting by caring for my own. It’s just not physically possibly for me. But people don’t want to hear that you can’t, they want you to resolve their problems and not tell them about your health limitations.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. oh Ana, I am so very sorry. I feel your pain, deeply………my family is very much the same and it hurts me so deeply. I have finally had to accept the fact my family doesn’t care. It sucks, it hurts and at moments it is down right paralyzing. You have to put yourself and your family first, period. God expects us to do just that.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Exactly! You said it! It feels almost impossible for me to even think someone doesn’t care. Right?! Like how can someone NOT care?! But they don’t, and I must come to terms that some people just won’t give two hoots about your health. None. 😣
        And I feel the religious pressures too. Viv mentioned not being able to attend church. My goodness this is the first time I see someone say that. Yes! I can’t make it to church, it’s too loud, the people, it’s a slew of things. But I get guilt from all directions. I don’t want to let God down, but I appreciate knowing someone else is saying they too can’t attend church like perhaps they used to.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. i haven’t been to church in months. just like you said, too loud, too much for me to get ready, on some days………God understands. if He wants you to go, you will be able to go, period.
        Guilt is the devil……..we are good enough, my goodness, we were created by the Most High God. He get it……….

        Liked by 2 people

      8. Oh I know! But it’s tough when the outside noise is louder than your thoughts. I think the worst – of myself. Can I be doing more?! What happens to my kids and their lack of attendance also?!
        And then, as you said, I think of His mercy, and know it’ll be OK.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh how these two letters are absolutely necessary. I was always the yes girl until I found myself burnt out and depleted and β€œgrumbly and complainy”. I hated disappointing people. I dreaded possible confrontations. I was a people please to say the least – then God intervened. He let me know I was full of pride and wanted to play His role. He let me know that I’m to please an audience of one first. He showed me that β€œnot all good things are God things”. He also let me know that a no now, allows room for a yes later on. Lastly, He let me know that confrontations may come but it’s not my place to live on the periphery of preempting them. I must focus on the things that are true and not be anxious about anything.
    All that to say…NO is OK! Let’s keep the ball a-rolling.
    Love you, girlfriend πŸ€—πŸ€—β€οΈβ€οΈ

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yessss….I’ve always always struggled with people pleasing….to the point of total misery. 😟 I still don’t enjoy confrontations but having a brain injury has made me more fearless and has forced me to speak up for myself. Oh yes, we please God first and leave others to Him. I don’t fear man anymore because I know He will fight for me. Amen precious!
      Love you too!!πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ€—πŸ€—

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Viv, in reading your response just now I had this thought. Through this very trying and difficult ordeal, the β€œreal” Viv has emerged. The fearless woman filled with boldness and courage. Is this a case of your β€œstretching” yielding stronger muscles? I sure hope so πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Šβ˜ΊοΈ. Loving you still Fearless Viv!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do believe you’re right. I am thankful for my trial because it gave me courage which I never had before. Goodness, how I took other people’s unkindness and hurt and let them treat me as a doormat to wipe their feet on. Now, I literally can’t put up with unkindness and bullies……yes, true Viv has emerged but sadly most wonder why they can’t misuse me anymore, then play victim. It’s okay though, I know God loves me and awwwee, you do too!! πŸ’–πŸ’–

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this, Viv. ❀ You know, that I know exactly what you mean. Andrew and I have had to learn that it's okay to say no as well. Some people will understand, some people will eventually come around to understanding, and others, well, there will be others who will never get it, and won't try to get it, so explaing things truly is a waste of time. I liked that…No is a complete sentence. 😊 Thanks for the encouragement today. ❀ ❀ ❀ Much love back at ya.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m so glad Tina. I have struggled greatly on this topic but God has grown me and shown me it’s ok to say no. The others who never get it as you mentioned, sadly are relatives. So, I’m figuring out how to stand up to them. It’s hard. Yes, my mentor told me this the other day and I had to share!! I’m thankful it encouraged you Tina. I was feeling a bit fiery and fiesty!πŸ˜‰πŸ˜much love and thank you!!πŸ’–πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can so relate to feeling like giving an essay along with my NO. I have learnt over the years to not feel compelled to justify my NO. I used to struggle to say just NO before but I have gotten better at it but still have to remind myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yes…..I have hurt myself so much by refusing to say no. We do try to justify our no. But then I’ve realised it’s futile if the other person has no respect for us. I’m glad this helped you dear one!πŸ’–πŸ€—πŸŒ»

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “The minute we start giving out reasons as to why we say no, it’s giving others a chance at convincing us to say yes.” – right there, that’s it. Part of our boundaries includes our words, given or kept.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true. Our boundaries can so easily be broken though when others don’t respect our words and wishes, or they don’t understand where we’re coming from and think our no is rubbish. Bless you Kathy, and thank you. πŸ€—πŸŒ»πŸŒΊ

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very good Vivian, well done! It does seem that relatives have the hardest time understanding no. I’m going through that right now with relatives constantly pushing me to do this or that, change this, change that. I almost shut down my blog because of it and I’m still thinking about that possibility. I know I need patience in dealing with this so I do things right, but the stress right now has got me down a lot. Great post, hope you are having a wonderful day!πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ΊπŸŒžπŸŒ³

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry Steve. It’s super tough when our family don’t understand us since they’re supposed to be on our side, not against us. My kids were recently told by an in law to, ” get a life” which hurt them. They have chosen to not understand but judge instead. I know how devestating those words can be from “loved ones”. Please know how many of us would miss your blog Steve. You are a light and write such cheerful posts that encourage and uplift others. I’ve sometimes wanted to quit too b/c of criticism but then I get all fired up and get back up fighting. Keep fighting Steve. πŸ˜„πŸŒ»πŸŒΊπŸ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I want to say β€œyes, yes, yes” to this post!!! Great point, I could really do better in this area. My people pleasing motives jump in and always feel the need to explain my reasoning..ugh

    I accepted your nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award and thank you so much!! I passed it on to another eleven bloggers. If you get a chance or feel up to it I’d love to hear from you on the questions I asked…I listened to the TBI podcast you have linked to your blog and love your story and just the way you glorify God and trust Him..your voice sounds so sweet and kind❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a huge challenge for me too dear Alicia! But, I’m slowly learning….

      Oh, how cool!! I will check it out! I’m honored you accepted my award….yay! You are most welcome. πŸ€—πŸ˜˜

      Liked by 1 person

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