Overcommitment - how to say "no" - I really need help

United States
April 9, 2007 9:22am CST
My husband and I tend to overcommit and volunteer for way too much. For instance, just this last weekend my entire family was in town for my grandfather's 80th birthday party. I was in charge of the kids at the party (20 great grand kids), I work full time, I am 8 months pregnant, I have a 14 month old, my husband was in charge of the music for Easter Sunday at our church and I hosted 10 for Easter dinner! Are we crazy? Not to mention, we both work full time and I did this all with the stomach flu that I've had for almost a week now. How do you say no? I literally feel guilty if someone asks of me and I say no or if I don't volunteer to pick up the slack where I see slack. Has anyone else overcome this?
2 people like this
3 responses
• United States
9 Apr 07
Hi countrylady28. I used to be the exact way you find yourself. I had to learn to say no. It was difficult at first, because I was always taught it was the right thing to do. You have to realize sometimes, it's right just to say no. When I finally learned how to do it, it felt odd at first, but then felt a bit empowering, that I realized I finally had control over my own life. With a overwhelming desire to 'fix things' and with a fear that if I said no - no one would like me anymore, I was lying to myself. Saying no just meant I was being honest with myself. If I didn't want to do something and said yes anyway, I resented the whole idea of it. Learning to say no meant I was just being honest. If you don't want to do something, just say no. It doesn't mean anyone is going to love you any less. It just means they will have to learn to either do it themselves or find someone else. If you want to say yes, then by all means do so. But - there's just some times in your life when saying no is really healthy.
• United States
9 Apr 07
Thank you for this advice. I need to accept that it's not selfish to say no, in fact it might be the opposite when it comes to the needs of my family. Overextending myself might be selfish because I'm fulfilling a need I have to be the nice guys all of the time. I'm going to try some of these tactics - can't hurt, right?
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Apr 07
And you honestly will feel better about it in the long run. Trust me.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
9 Apr 07
One thing that you might find helpful is to actually schedule yourself some family time, couple time or alone time. If you have it scheduled as an appointment rather than an empty spot on your calendar, it may make it easier for you to day that you have another commitment at those particular times.
• United States
10 Apr 07
GREAT suggestion - I'm a calendar person, so time management tips are great for me. thanks!
• United States
9 Apr 07
i have the same problem sometimes. hubby is always getting on to me for it. if i say no i feel like i am a bad person. i have learned to say no though alittle bit. i have had to tell peopel i am sorry but i hope you think of me nect time but i have so much on my plate right now i feel i might not do a good enough job. then you have to get yourself to think that too. lol.