Learning To Say “No” Gracefully

No one enjoys being rejected. For me, I hate letting anyone down. I have a tendency to say “yes” to everything. I do truly enjoy volunteering and being involved, but I have always felt the pressure to say “yes.” In fact, someone onced asked my husband if there was anything I didn’t do, to which he replied, “Say no.”

Knowing how to say no gracefully can be tricky, but I think it’s a vital skill to hone. It is a skill you’ll use for the remainder of your days. Something has recently come to my mind that has helped me in learning how and when to say no.

“When we say ‘yes’ to something, we are saying ‘no’ to something else.” – Emily Glass

We are all given a finite amount of time on earth. I’ve often mentioned being good stewards of our money and things. However, being good stewards of our time is even more important. So, when we say “yes” to something, we are saying “no” to something else. What that “something else” is will vary by person.

It may be that we are saying no to more family time. It may be that we’re saying no to more peace. Whatever it is, by realizing that, we are better able to prioritize our time. The desire to say no to the lesser important things grows within us.

So, how can we gracefully say no?

  1. Remember that you never owe anyone an explanation. Simply say that you’re unable to.
  2. If you feel like you need to expand, keep your explanation honest. No one deserves to be lied to.
  3. Thank the person for thinking of you. You must have the trait(s) they’re looking for. It was considerate of them to ask.
  4. Offer an alternative. It might be another person or you may be able to commit to a lesser amount of time.

You are ultimately responsible for your time and will encounter many occasions where you’ll need to know how to say no. I hope today’s post encouraged you! If you have suggestions on other ways to say no gracefully, I’d love to hear it! Thank you for reading!

Spring Cotillion Class Update

It was no accident that Spring Cotillion and Spring Junior Cotillion began yesterday, March 20th, which was the first official day of spring. I always love when a new class begins because I never know what to expect. The anticipation excites me. Now, I know exactly what I’ll teach, but each class contributes and extracts information differently, resulting in different results each time. The two spring classes are no different.This is the first semester I’ve offered classes for the younger grades (Kindergartern through 4th), and I have been so impressed by their attentiveness and desire to learn. It solidifies the thought that incorporating etiquette into their lives at a younger age will make it more understood and second nature for the students.

The Junior Cotillion class actually started out with more male students than female. However, the dancing portion quickly resolved that. One boy got knocked in the nose during an unfortunate Waltz spin, and another boy had his foot stomped on by accident. With two down, we were to a one-to-one ratio. 😉

Each class is not without comical times and ups and downs. At the end, though, I feel confident that the parents who enrolled their children in these classes will know they’ve gained knowledge and lifeskills that will set them apart from their peers. With that, I’m happy. 🙂

More Than Minimum

I have seen so many posts and memes lately glorifying getting through and simply doing the bare minimum. Life, though, isn’t about getting through. I get that the memes are intended to be cute and funny. I know we all have days (or weeks) we struggle, and it is so important that we give ourselves grace.

May I gently encourage you to consider less? If too much is causing you to feel as though you’re doing the bare minimum on all of it, reprioritize you life.

Now, please, please keep in mind that each season of life is very different, and I don’t have a newborn at home. My kids are older now and have accepted a decent amount of responsibility for jobs around the house. My season of life may be (and likely is) very different from yours.

If, however, you find that constantly having people over for dinner is causing you more stress than not, it’s okay to stop. If being overly involved is causing you to not give your all to any of the groups, it’s okay to stop. Our culture needs to stop glorifying busyness.

I think it’s okay that we expect more from ourselves and others than sweatpants and missed meetings. Our culture says that it’s okay to not send thank you notes because we’re so busy. Our culture says it’s okay to connect only online because we’re so busy. I hope that you’ll find encouragement in this post and find the peace that can come with doing fewer things well, whether that is at work or at home.

Talkin’ Politics

As we are halfway through the primaries, I thought a good topic for today would be how to respectfully discuss politics. You see, I disagree with many who believe that politics and religion shouldn’t be discussed in polite company. I believe that we are all unique, and I love learning about what makes others so unique. Their political beliefs and their religious beliefs are two huge components of it.

I have a list compiled of ways I believe we can open the conversation up respectfully. We have so much to learn from each other, and shying away from certain topics doesn’t do us any good. Getting into arguments with others, however, also hinders progress, in addition to ruining friendships.

I hope this list helps you open the door to conversation. Please let me know if you have anything to add to it!

  1. Listen to the other members of the conversation instead of forming a rebuttal in your mind. Listen to learn.
  2. If it makes someone uncomfortable, don’t talk about it. This goes for anything, not just politics and religion. Not every time is a good time to discuss a particular topic.
  3. Don’t raise your voice. This is a discussion, not a debate.
  4. Don’t try to get a rise out of someone.
  5. Seek to find out what is important to them instead of stopping with party affiliation.
  6. Remember that agreeing to disagree doesn’t make anyone a “winner” or a “loser.” This should be a mature discussion.
  7. Remember they are more than their beliefs on any topic.