Why I Learned to Say "NO" and Became a Better Me

By
Real Estate Agent with Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

 

Joeann Fossland wrote a blog today about conserving your energy and practicing the word "no".

I have gotten much, much better at saying no over the past several years.  By learning how to say no I can pick and choose that activities I truly want to do and stop feeling resentful about doing things I felt pressured into because I couldn't say no.

Learning how to say no came after 2 telling remarks, one from my husband, and the other from my then pre- school daughter.

I had the privilege of being able to stay home after the birth of my third child.  But transitioning from a corporate environment to days filled with dirty diapers, Barney, and little adult interaction did not go smoothly. 

I found myself getting involved with school boards, PTSA, Princeton Newcomers group, editing and writing newsletters, co-chairing the Holiday Boutique that the Women's Club sponsored at my church, St. Charles Borromeo, playing Bunko, and starting up an Oprah Book Club, among other time consuming activities.

All of these activities required endless meetings and countless hours, both during the day and at night.

As I was running out the door one night, leaving my husband, who had just put in his nine plus hours of work, with cranky kids, homework and bath time instructions, he looked at me and said, I thought you wanted to stay home from work so that you could be home with us more? 

He was so right, I was out volunteering and doing club activities during the day and night and being as stressed out and resentful as if I were still working full-time, all because I couldn't say no.

The second wake-up call came when my daughter was "interviewed" for a booklet her preschool put together about each child's family and interests.  When she was asked, "What Does Mommy Do", she replied, "she goes to meetings all day".  I was a raging success as a stay home mother!  All because I couldn't say no.

Learning how to apply the brakes and start saying "No" became easier each time I said it.  I figured out how many hours a week I was willing to spend volunteering and kept only those evening activities I really enjoyed, like Bunko and a book club.  It wasn't always easy, I still remember some of the looks I got when I said "No" and some of the guilt trips when I was asked, but who is going to do it?" 

By the way, there is an art to learning how to say no, effectively and with respect, but that's another post.

 I have been calmer and happier since then.  Time spent with your children and family is short and so sweet. Take a lesson from me, don't let others steal your time.

I have also applied these lessons to my real estate practice.  I am not a 24/7 REALTOR, I have no problem saying no to certain requests.  Respect my parameters and I'll respect yours.

I know how to say "No".

 

Tell me how you learned to say "No" for your sake and your family

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you or is anyone you know considering a move? It would be my pleasure to help you with your real estate needs.

Serving PrincetonBoro, Princeton Township, West Windsor, Montgomery Township, Hillsborough, Hopewell Township, Bridgewater, Lawrenceville, Franklin Township, East Windsor, Kingston, and parts of Middlesex County.

Lisa Ryan, REALTOR®

 

 

 

138 Nassau Street, Princeton NJ 08542

908.420.5706 (C)   609.430.1288  ext.554 (O)

 

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Anonymous
Anonymous
When you say no, you feel so much better and less stressed out. 
Nov 07, 2007 11:15 PM #1
Rainer
9,428
Spencer Molnar
Las Vegas, NV
GRI-Homewood Property Management
This is so true. I really have to work at saying "NO". It's definately something that will make my job easier.
Nov 07, 2007 11:16 PM #2
Rainmaker
130,303
Lanette Branch
RE/MAX Components - Fallston, MD
Bel Air, MD REALTOR

YES, Lisa, this is a great skill to aquire. I'm fine-tuning that skill all the time, now.  Guess what? I got a wake-up call from a pre-schooler, too.  Out of the mouths of babes...

Nov 07, 2007 11:20 PM #3
Rainmaker
536,478
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Lisa,

You are one very wise young woman, congratulations!

At one time (as a broker-owner) I was spending more time in "organized r.e." than my own business. Going from one meeting to another, commitee chair for this and that, local director, state director for example, and that was only business. Don't get me wrong, I still feel like we all need to contribute in many ways, yet it's just fine with me to be supporting of supporting others.

Lisa, you personally are speaking of things and years you cannot replace with your family.  Good for you at this time in your life. And bottom line, somehow things will continue to go on, right?

Nov 07, 2007 11:36 PM #4
Rainer
33,760
Jennifer Hartwick
Coldwell Banker Tatie Payne, Inc. - Columbia, MO

I had decided after one hectic year of over voluntering myself that I would only take one commitment a year.  Whether it be at the school, or a service organization.  I felt better about saying no, when I could say I was already committed to X.  And really, it worked well.  I didn't volunteer for the Girl Scouts, or as room parent, or to chair any committee.  But, I make sure I THANK the parents that do!  I've learned that you can still be supportive without being in charge.

Nov 07, 2007 11:39 PM #5
Rainmaker
100,233
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
Wayne~ the less stress the better for all of us, emotionally and physically.  Thanks
Nov 07, 2007 11:55 PM #6
Rainmaker
100,233
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
Hi Spenser~ learning to say "no" does take work, but gets easier with time.  I think women just have a tougher time doing it, maybe due to innate need to be givers.
Nov 07, 2007 11:59 PM #7
Rainmaker
100,233
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
Thanks for the back up Lanette!  Isn't that why we have kids, to learn the important lessons in life?
Nov 08, 2007 12:01 AM #8
Rainmaker
100,233
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
Lynda~ thanks for your thoughtful comment, it seems you know exactly what I'm talking about. And yes, you're right, the world will continue to spin if we say no!
Nov 08, 2007 12:04 AM #9
Rainmaker
100,233
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
Jennifer~ that's exactly what I had to do.  I didn't say no to everything, I just limited what I said yes to.  Anding thanking those who do do these jobs is so important. 
Nov 08, 2007 12:07 AM #10
Rainer
56,366
Chul KIM McGuire
CorpusTV.com - Corpus Christi, TX

Hi there Lisa!

Funny thing.... WE ALL learned to say "NO" since we were crawling on the floor. Parents say "NO" to this and that in trying to keep us safe as they saw it.

And as we grew up into the teenage years, we hated "NO!" We became to challenge the "NO" and do nearly everything.

Now, most people have engrained in their subconscious mind that saying "NO" is not good.

Cheers, KIM.  N. Padre Island, TX

Nov 08, 2007 08:33 AM #11
Rainmaker
100,233
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
Kim~ You are right it's funny as things change. How often do you hear "no" from your kids!
Nov 08, 2007 08:39 AM #12
Rainmaker
84,525
Tanya Busch
The Maine Real Estate Network - Auburn, ME
Maine Real Estate
It is sometimes a little hard to do in Real Estate.  At my previous corporate job, I had a wonderful "no" day.  I picked a day and every single time someone asked me to do something, I saud "no."  Politely of course.  It was a truly empowering day.  I had a wonderful co-worker who was starting to get a little burned out and shared my experience with her.  The next week she had her "no" day.  Same result.  She felt great and the world didn't end.
Nov 08, 2007 08:40 AM #13
Rainmaker
123,247
Elaine Hanson
Snyder Sutton Real Estate - Topanga, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent
This was a lesson that I also had to learn.  It's especially hard to say no when you see something that needs doing and know you are capable of doing it.  I was overwhelming myself.  Now, it gets easier and easier to be discriminating with my time.  Gaining age wisdom is great!
Nov 08, 2007 02:33 PM #14
Rainmaker
278,886
Joeann Fossland
Advantage Solutions Group - Tucson, AZ
Master Certified Coach to Motivated Agents
Lisa, Great post showing the cost of saying yes! You might be making others happy, but are you making yourself happy and honoring your values? You graphics are wonderful! And thank you for linking to my post!!! I'm honored.
Nov 09, 2007 08:18 AM #15
Rainmaker
100,233
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
Tanya~ a no day cracks me up.  I would love to put a sign on my desk that say "sorry, my answer to your request today is NO!"  Thank for reading and commenting
Nov 09, 2007 03:59 PM #16
Rainmaker
100,233
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town
Elaine~ I felt the same way, just overwhelmed.  Love your age scratchout by the way!
Nov 09, 2007 04:01 PM #17
Rainmaker
100,233
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town

Joeann~ you are welcome, thank you for the inspiration!

Nov 09, 2007 04:02 PM #18
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Lisa Ryan

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