Why You Need
to Stop Saying Yes
Your potential is truly limitless. No matter who you are, what your age or station is,
you have the capacity to achieve extraordinary things in your life.
By Guest Blogger Lisa E Betz
Do you have a hard time saying no? Perhaps you’ve been taught (directly or indirectly) than nice Christian women should always put others first. Therefore, you feel it’s your duty to help others anytime they ask for help, and to meet every need that comes across your path. Also, because you want to be seen as nice, you feel compelled to accept invitations to social events, lest you disappoint someone or give the impression you don’t love them.
When you habitually say yes, people become accustomed to it. They begin to assume you will agree to meet all their needs, and you can get trapped in a cycle of meeting everyone’s needs but your own.
That isn’t how you were created to live! As Lysa TerKeurst puts it, “Not every opportunity is meant to be my assignment.”
To get out of that unhealthy cycle, you need to be brave and sometimes say no, even when it might disappoint someone. Learning how and when to say no is a vital tool for self-care, maintaining healthy boundaries, good stewardship, and living out your God-given purpose and priorities.
Three reasons you need to stop saying yes
An unwise yes is not good stewardship God calls you to be good stewards of your resources, which include money, time, energy, attention, and your personal health. You have a limited amount of each resource. When you agree to every need or request without considering the cost, you are not utilizing your limited resources wisely.
“It is better to do less with peace than it is to do more with stress.” ~ Joyce Meyer
A false yes is a lie
When you say yes to an activity or task in order to please others, while inside your heart is telling you to say no, you are being dishonest with yourself and the one who made the request. You may carry through with your promise, but inside you feel angry or resentful. This anger affects you whether you realize it or not. Over time, the resentment will build up and eventually leak out, damaging relationships and stealing your joy.
“As followers of Jesus Christ, the degree to which we live in truth is the degree to which we are free. When we lie in certain areas of our life, we shackle and chain ourselves, restricting the freedom Christ won for us.” ~ Geri Scazzero
A yes to avoid conflict indicates a lack of boundaries
Saying no to other’s requests or invitations is particularly hard when you fear your refusal will result in conflict. However, when you habitually acquiesce to others in order to avoid disappointing them or angering them, you have fallen into pleasing people instead of pleasing God.
If you wish to establish and maintain healthier boundaries, you will need the courage to say no despite the other person’s reaction.
“When you engage in people pleasing you are out of integrity with yourself, your goals, your dreams, and your life’s mission.” ~ Eileen Anglin
Three common situations where you need courage to say No:
1. You are invited to attend a social function
Do you struggle to say no to social invitations? Perhaps you feel that declining the invitation is disrespectful or shows a lack of support? Or perhaps you’re a social butterfly who always accepts invitations. What will people think if you suddenly decline?
Sometimes you must be brave and risk disappointing someone in order to honor other priorities (including wise self-care).
When should you think twice before saying yes to social invitations? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
• Who will I disappoint if I accept this request? (Remember, every yes comes at a cost. If you devote time to this event, you are spending time you could otherwise have given to someone else.)
• What other activity am I willing to give up in order to attend?
• Do I honestly want to attend? If not, why do I feel compelled to say yes? Is that answer worth the sacrifice?
2. You are asked to volunteer for a project you’ve served on in the past
Have you ever felt that when you say yes to a volunteer position it’s a life sentence? It doesn’t need to be that way. Your life situation and priorities change over time. Those priorities should be reflected in the tasks you agree to help with and those you don’t.
Sometimes you must be brave and face the fear of letting people down in order to remain a good steward of your resources.
When should you think twice before saying yes to volunteer requests? Here are three questions to ask yourself:
• Does this project or cause fit with my current priorities?
• What limitations and other responsibilities must I consider before saying yes?
• Does the role I played previously fit with my current priorities? If not, can I support the cause with a lesser role that fits within my limitations?
3. Others are used to you always saying yes whenever they need your help
Do you have the courage to say no when others expect you to say yes? Sometimes you must be brave and face pushback from others in order to establish healthier boundaries and reserve your time and energy for more important tasks.
When should you think twice before saying yes? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
• Why do I think it’s my responsibility to say yes to this request?
• What will happen if I say no? Is this consequence significant?
• What is the cost to my well-being and my God-given purpose if I say yes to this request?
Will you find the courage to stop saying yes?
Every time you practice saying no, you gain a little more confidence and a little more control of your time. You can do it!
If you aren’t sure how to say no without sounding unkind, you will enjoy this simple free guide: 7 Strategies for Saying No. May it empower you to say no with courage and confidence.
Lisa E. Betz is an engineer-turned-mystery-writer, entertaining speaker, and unconventional soul. She inspires others to become their best selves, living with authenticity, and purpose, and she infuses her novels with unconventional characters who thrive on solving tricky problems. Her Livia Aemilia Mysteries, set in first-century Rome, have won several awards, including the Golden Scroll Novel of the Year (2021).
She and her husband reside outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with Scallywag, their rambunctious cat—the inspiration for Nemesis, resident mischief maker in her novels. Lisa directs church dramas, hikes the beautiful Pennsylvania woods, eats too much chocolate, and experiments with ancient Roman recipes. Visit lisaebetz.com.