The Art of Saying No

I can’t be the only person who has this issue. I have the hardest time saying no to people. I believe deep down I’m afraid of disappointing people if I say no. It’s as if I’m letting people down by not doing what they ask of me. However, what I’m realizing is that I’m causing more harm than good. When you put others before yourself, you start to neglect your wants and needs. There is nothing wrong with helping others, but it can’t come as a detriment to yourself. Here are four questions to consider before agreeing to assist someone with their affairs.

  1. Will this put my aspirations on the back burner?

Remember it is admirable for you to help others, but, if your own goals are affected, think before taking on more than you can handle.  You will become resentful and bitter if your goals take a backseat due to helping others. It is best to make sure that you have the time available to continue to pursue your goals while supporting others.

  1. Will this impact me financially?

Friends and family may fall on hard times and ask for you to assist them when it comes to money. However, keep in mind that you aren’t obligated to provide them with this assistance. If you don’t have the funds be honest and don’t give out something that you need for yourself. Your friends and family may even try to guilt you into providing them with the support. Please don’t give them your last especially if you are struggling yourself. Do you need this money back that you are giving out? If so, think about how this will impact your relationship with that individual if you don’t receive your money back. I learned a long time ago that if I give cash out don’t expect it back. Doing this will avoid many arguments that may arise.

  1. Will you be overwhelmed by assisting?

Despite our best efforts things in life can and will come up.  Whether it be work or unexpected life events that may occur. Helping others should never become overwhelming or even feel like a burden to you. Assisting others only works once all of your related activities are complete. The reason this becomes an issue is that you are doing too much at one time. Let me tell you this is a disaster as you will become frustrated. You can even snap at a moment’s notice due to your growing agitation. The way to not feel overwhelmed is to make sure you have time to offer your support. Don’t just say yes due to the fear of what telling no would cause. Be honest if you have too much on your plate and are unable to provide support at this time.

  1. Are you indeed able to assist at this moment?

People will respect you more if you are honest about what you can handle. Don’t feel as if you must say yes or else. Taking on more than you can chew only hurts you in the end. When people see that you will take on any and everything they will begin to take advantage of you. It is up to you to stand up for yourself and let people know when enough is enough. If you can’t help in the full capacity that the individual is expecting, then explain what you can do. A person who loves you doesn’t care how much you will contribute when any little bit can help. If someone gives you a hard time about it, then you will know in the future where you stand with that person.

Before responding back to someone about supporting them remember these four questions and then proceed to provide your answer. Make these questions a habit of answering before agreeing to help others. The critical thing to remember is that to be of assistance to someone is to be fully available to help. Learning to say no is difficult as I struggle with it myself. But taking the time to think before saying yes is a better option. You will allow yourself time to assess in what capacity you can help and what precisely you can provide. This way you are assisting on your terms, and you will feel less inundated in the process.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

With the growing acknowledgment of the “Me Too” movement, it has brought to light the injustices that many people face on a daily basis. Of course, this is a great thing that the issues of the “Me Too” movement are coming to the forefront. Comprising positions can hopefully be avoided in the future. Unfortunately, there are still a few issues that haven’t seen the light of day. One problem, in particular, is when a sexual violation occurs at the hands of a family member or friend of the family. One thing that I would hear often growing up (and I’m sure you overheard this as well) is don’t leave your child around so and so. I understand rumors and how you don’t want a rumor to destroy a person’s reputation. However, for speculations to grow over time, there has to be some validity to the whispers going around. Case in point look at Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Those rumors followed them for years, and now years later we are discovering that indeed they were correct. There were many women impacted by both these men, and if just one person would’ve spoken up, it could’ve prevented so much anguish.

It is incredible that people are finally speaking out against Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. However, we all need to speak out even if it’s someone close to us.  We need to protect our women and children better. It doesn’t matter if you knew this person for years. Once a sexual violation has occurred the moral thing to do is call the authorities. I’m aware getting the police involved particularity when it pertains to Black people can have dire consequences. Honestly, this type of matter shouldn’t have the appearance of being seen as being nonchalant. By protecting the abuser and shunning the victims, there is a horrible message that is coming across. We are telling the victims to keep their mouths shut as what they say isn’t important. Also, we are allowing the abuser to continue hurting other people. Psychologically this will have lasting effects on the victims. Victims may feel suicidal, withdrawn from society, perform self-harm, and struggle with intimacy. Depending on how young the abuse starts this will impact their development as they will be conflicted about what occurred. Their body will respond differently from their mind. Unfortunately, this type of confusion will lead them to feel like it is their fault for what happened. If the abuser admits their wrongdoing at all, it comes with an idiotic statement about being enticed. We need to change our approach to discussing topics such as this to help the victims move forward with their lives.

I understand the touchy nature of this topic makes people want to shy away from it. However, this is important enough that it needs everyone’s full attention. There are many people out there who are impacted by this cycle of abuse. One of the worst things you can do is tell someone they are lying. Please understand the amount of courage that was taken to come forward. When someone is describing in great detail what transpired, they are not lying. Keep in mind if you are telling the truth you never have to remember a lie. Also, not believing someone when they tell you what happened to them is terrible as well. It, unfortunately, relives the whole ordeal all over again when nobody trusts what the victim says. The idea reinforces the belief that the victim is at fault for what occurred to them. Giving support to this situation and being there as a shoulder to lean on is essential. Most importantly please stop protecting these abusers! Speak out and get the authorities involved as soon as possible. You will help to save someone from a lifetime of grief that some take years to overcome if they do at all.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)