Effraeti's RP

One Woman, Two Timelines, Two Destinies.

Learning to Say “No”

Every time I stop to think on this particular topic, it makes me think of one of my previous bosses.  He used to praise me highly for all the things I would accomplish, and especially those things that I assisted him with.  The one negative item in my performance reviews that always came up was my inability to say “No.”

I would work myself to the bone accomplishing tasks that he would later ask me in an amused manner why I had ever taken on in the first place.  My lame answer was always, “They asked.”

Eventually, we created a more firm clarification of what my duties were and were not, and he even went as far as to say anything beyond that scope would go through him first.  All this so I did not have to say “No.”  So that I could pass it off.  So I did not have to be the bad guy.

What is it about saying “No”?

Well, feeling I am letting someone down, for one.

The majority of being an Administrative Assistant is right their in the title – assisting.  So it has always been automatic for me to say “Yes” for requests of assistance.

I am the Assistant, how can I assist?

It is amazing how innocently it begins for people to take advantage of that.  In fact, I dare say that most would never consider it taking advantage – I know I do not, until it is brought to my attention.  Is X part of your job description?  Well, no…  Then, for goodness sake, say “No.”  Because heaven forbid I should run into the matter of one of my actual job duties remaining incomplete due to assisting with something I should not have been doing to begin with.

But it is hard to say “No”!

In a personal manner, I could probably say I am even worse in this aspect.  With significant others especially.  I give and give and give of myself… putting my family and friends and partners above myself.  It is just who I am.

And 95% 0f the time, it is no problem, but eventually I over-commit myself, and I have to step back and assess.  Laz is infinitely wonderful at helping me with this – sometimes he catches my emotions before I do.  He is also good at seeing things from a perspective I cannot.  Sometimes I just get so focused on the items sitting right in front of me that I lose focus on the bigger picture.

Unfortunately, when I step back and assess, it usually means disappointing someone, because I have to force myself to use that dreaded word, “No.”

There is just so much going on right now, and even between just Laz and myself, we both already feel stretched thin… raiding, managing alts, farming, professions, and now D3 is only about a week away.  We plan to level our two D3 characters as quickly as possible, taking next Thursday and Friday off for a four day weekend to assist with doing so.

Add to that keeping up on my blog and the reading of those blogs I enjoy – not to mention other things I like to read.

This does not even touch on RL commitments.  The weather is turning nicer, and I want to enjoy it.  I am slowly rebounding from the effects of the deep depression and anxiety I had been suffering from for so long with my previous job and then being an unemployed, sole household financial provider.

But the rest of 2012 is looking up.

I owe it to my mom, to my dog, to Laz, and especially to myself to take it on in stride with a hopeful disposition and to devote the time and attention to things outside of gaming, and with the same passion, as I do things from behind the keyboard.

Do you ever find it difficult to say “no”?  Do you ever overwhelm yourself in doing so?

~ Effy



  1. Are you sure you didn’t sneak in my house and write this for me? I have learned to say no and there have been repercussions. That is what really sucks. I know this may sound sexist but men seem to be masters at saying no with no fall-out. My boundary setting has cost me points. Gotta keep repairing that fence or the cattle gets loose.

    • Yah, at the very least, it usually results in an “Are you okie? Is everything okie?” Yes, I must assess and manage BEFORE I get to the “not okie” point. 😛

      And I agree, disappointing people is never fun, and some people tend to not take rejection well. What can you say to not offend? Really?

      ~ Effy

  2. Avi

    Boy, do I ever hear you on this. You sound so much like me, both in a personal and professional capacity.
    My boss works in a different office, so he doesn’t always see just how much things can start to pile up on me. I try, though, until eventually it gets so much that he ends up hearing the stress level in my voice on the phone and tackles one of my many projects himself to help relieve things.
    I’ve made some improvements in my personal life… I read a book last year that really opened my eyes to some things that made me feel anxious, and WHY, and have struggled to make the necessary changes. I now know that it’s OKAY for me to not want to go out on a Friday night, and that it’s actually *good* for me to pass over it if I’m not really excited about the idea… because without that “me time” on the weekends, the work week just overwhelms me even more. If I don’t get enough re-charge time, my anxiety goes through the roof and the panic attacks get worse.
    But it’s not easy to say no, still. I don’t like the feeling of letting anyone down.

  3. Absolutely. And in my case when I actually do screw up my nerve and say no, the guilt I feel is usually so bad I might as well have gone ahead and done whatever it was.

    I recently had to put my foot down with myself. Clients are always calling for “help” and that means “free help and advice” and I do it. One client sent me a list of things she wanted done on her website and at the end said, but if there’ll be a charge I don’t want them done.

    At that point I decided to rein in my tendency to help, lol. I might have to join a “Just Say No” group!

  4. Well, it appears we should start some sort of Saying “No” support group. How to separate ourselves from the “Just Say No to Drugs” peeps, though? 😉

    ~ Effy

  5. Maybe we could be the Just Say No No’s but then people might think we’re a musical group!

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