When to Say No

Like many people, I am a recovering people pleaser. Typically, it’s easier for me to just say yes to people’s request, but it is not always healthy.

I remember the first time I had to say no to a good friend of mine, it was a little tough. There was something they wanted me to help them with, I just didn’t have the time in that season. It was clear to me that saying yes would be a mistake for me, regardless of how much I wanted to be helpful.

There is a time when it is very clear you should say no, but there are other times when it is not so clear. Here are a few guidelines to help you decide whether or not to say yes to a request.

1. When saying yes pulls you away from your goals.

I wish I would have followed Dave Ramsey’s money advice earlier in life, but I am still glad I embraced it before thirty. One of our financial goals was to make it possible for my wife Christa to stay home without kids. We had to be disciplined with our finances over the course of five years.

In light of our desired goal of Christa staying home with our children, we had to say no to a lot of things in that time. We had to say no to things we could pay cash for. We still drove reliable cars and had family vacations, but they were very budget conscious.

2. When saying yes pulls you away from your values.

I know that this one may be different from person to person, but if saying yes pulls you away from your core convictions, you have to say no. There is nothing worth the price of your integrity.

As a person of faith, this one is incredibly important to me. I have a desire to honor God in my actions and words.

3. When saying yes pulls you away from the best yes.

Many of the things we commit to having an opportunity cost. When you say yes to one thing, you are consequently saying no to something else.

Maybe you have decided that Sunday morning is a day for worship and rest. If you commit to something that takes you away from that, you could be pulled away from a better yes.

Some of you may not currently know what your better yes is. For this reason, I encourage you to create a life plan. It will lay out exactly what is important to you and the direction you want areas of your life to go.

While saying no is not always easy, it sometimes allows you to say yes to what is most important.