I've made myself a list to help me justify saying no. I figured I would share it with you and give you some good reasons to say no once in a while, too.
Here it is, my list for when it is okay to say NO:
1) If it is something that really makes you uncomfortable - doing things to help others shouldn't cause you any anxiety. If it is something that you really don't want to do then tell them. It's OKAY to say, "I'm not comfortable with that, sorry."
2) If you don't have the money - sometimes someone will ask you to do things that require a little cash. It might be gas money or money for food they want you to make or bring, it could be a bridesmaid dress or even money for a hotel stay - if you don't have the money then just be honest. I know it isn't always the easiest thing to say, "I can't afford that" but being honest will let them know that it isn't about them but about what you can and can't do.
3) If it is going to take more time than you have to give - if this is a reason that you have to say no then you might want to try telling them how much time you do have to give. A lot of the times I will have to say that if something is going to last longer than my kids can stay awake and I have to have them with me. So, instead of a flat out NO, I might say, "I can stay until 7:30 but then I have to get the kids home and in bed"
4) If you aren't feeling good - your health and well being is #1, so if you aren't feeling well enough to help someone out then tell them that. I know a lot of people use this excuse when they just want to wiggle their way out of something but if you really aren't feeling good then there is no guilt with backing out because of it!
5) If it goes against your beliefs or puts you in the middle of something you want to stay out of - a lot of times friends will ask for help with things that will put you in the middle of their rocky relationship or even be something that you don't particularly agree with morally. Steer clear of those situations! Of course, you don't want to be really rude and lecture someone but you should tell them why you can't help so that they will know not to ask again if the situation arises.
6) If you already have too much to do - there are times of the year when everyone has a lot to do. The beginning of the school year and Christmas Season both come to mind when I think about busy times. If you have to do your own shopping, cleaning, wrapping and cooking then don't feel bad telling a friend that you can't take the hour and a half there and the hour and a half back to pick up her parents from the airport. Simply tell it like it is and say, "Sorry, things are crazy right now! I wish I could help but I just am not going to have the time."
Finally, I want to share an image with you that I picked up off of this Facebook Page yesterday:
Remember to take care of yourself first. If Mama isn't happy then NO one is happy.
Have a fantastic Saturday!