I learn something new almost every day.

Like just yesterday I learned that if we have another baby, Clara would like to name it “Jemily.”  Except when she says it, it sounds like “Jem-a-yee.” 

Gender neutral.  Naturally.

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And as I learn and grow in my adulthood, I’m finding that I have less time to worry about what others think, less time to fret over getting approval and less desire to please.

And these are all good things.

I look back and I can see the slow, gradual change towards this “relaxation” but I think my “AHA!!!-moment” came last year when I quit my job.  Instead of talking about making a change for the betterment of my family, I took action.  It was liberating and frightening ….and hard.

You see – I am your typical YES girl.  Stepping away or quitting something is really hard for me because everything in me wants to make sure that the boss/the company/the friend is happy with my decision too.   But sometimes you can’t have both: the stepping away AND their approval of it.  For probably the first time in my life, the sting of letting others down just didn’t sting so much last summer.

I saw (see) that as great progress.

Example:  My church family brought over several meals after Porter was born.  Such a HUGE blessing, but the thing with meals and a newborn…scheduling can be difficult.  On more than one occasion, it was best for the cook to bring the meal at a time that wasn’t best for me, usually naptime when I wanted to lay down and get some sleep too.  Instead of staying up and waiting for the meal, I simply told the person to leave it on my doorstep.

Whoa.

I would have NEVER done this before.  Seems selfish.  Rude.

But all those women…they totally understood. 

And it all worked out.

I’m learning that true friends will understand that your house is a mess.  They’ll understand that it’s hard to get Clara’s hair brushed (she hates it) or that paper plates are preferred.  They’ll understand that a nap is sometimes better than conversation.

True friends will look past all those things I do that make myself look more “put together.”

They’ll relate. 

They won’t mind.  (actually…they’ll probably love you all the more for it.)

drseuss

There’s such a relaxing peace in knowing that all of the superficial crap that we do, all those attempts at perfection – they don’t matter.   Not really.  I’m not saying I’m giving up on life.  I’m saying that I’m finally in a place where I can choose (with no regrets) when to say no.

When to say, “Hey!  You know what – I need a nap today.  It’s not a good time for me.”

Liberating.

QUESTION:  Are you a YES girl?  A people pleaser?

splendid…lindsay

  1. Brooke says:

    Yes and yes ;p. But I am getting better, for sure. I think part of the reason that it’s gotten easier for me is because of how much I respect and love the women who tell ME no! It makes me feel like they trust me, that they’re letting me in. And it has inspired me to let others in as well :)

  2. RainStorm says:

    It’s crazy isn’t it? I realised a few weeks ago that I totally don’t mind if my friends are running late or even cancel on me at the last minute, but I totally panic if I think I’m going to be late (whether or not I actually do end up being late!). Good friends understand :)

  3. Sarah@creatingbettertomorrow says:

    I by nature am a yes person and a people pleaser. I get it from my mom :) and it was passed to me. BUT I know that’s my tendency and I am very intentional (not saying I always get it right!) at saying NO especially in busy or stressful seasons of life!

  4. Lindsey M says:

    Ah! I totally still struggle with this but it is much easier to say no now that I have two kids (excuses). You keep on rockin’ that “no” mama! :)

  5. Jaclyn @ Bumpsweat says:

    I’ve definitely been a ‘yes’ girl for a long time. It’s gotten better but I still feel the pressure to say it a little too often, when it’s not always best for me. We’ll see how motherhood affects that.

  6. Kaella (KaellaOnTheRun) says:

    I LOVE this post!! I’m a definitely “YES” girl but have tried to take a step back since having my son almost two years ago.

    I’ve been accused of being too nice a lot. I don’t see that as a problem but my girlfriends seems to always tell me this lol!

    Thanks for sharing– well written and something to think about!

  7. Karen says:

    AMEN! I struggle with this as well and I am trying so hard to take care of me and not everybody else! Great post. Thank you.

  8. Jade says:

    Yes yes yes. It’s so hard to say no sometimes. Except your meals story reminded me when I was 2 weeks post partum with the first and it was like 9 pm, last few hours were trying to console our colicky baby so when he went down (AT LAST) so did I. That was when my MIL decided it was perfect time to come over, see if she could help, so I didn’t actually answer the phone, I placed it on silent. But that wasn’t enough for her, she came over and started ringing the door bell, knocking on every window which naturally woke up the baby, so begrudgingly I got the baby (now crying) went to the door and in my never like me mood said ‘We were asleep, thank you, now excuse me while I try to get him back” and just closed the door… She totally could have came over at like 6 and it would have been a different story but 9, 9:30 pm?? come on!

  9. Natalie @ Free Range Human says:

    I am definitely a people pleaser, but, like you, I find the older I get the more I am becoming okay with saying no. I really think it comes from becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin which is why I think my 30’s are going to be the best decade yet!

  10. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries says:

    Absolutely a YES girl and a people pleaser. It’s a double edged sword for me, really. I feel like I get better at saying “no”, but then it makes me feel suuuuper guilty for making so-and-so unhappy about it. Working on it. Thank you for this reminder.

  11. Kate says:

    I am totally a people pleaser. I read a quote recently that touched me. It was something like, “Here’s the problem with people pleasing: There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that people don’t really give a damn; and the bad news is that people don’t really give a damn.” That was very freeing for me as I struggled with guilt about leaving a company that I helped to start and wondering if I had made a mistake and if my friends there would hate me forever or thought I was dumb or weak. But then I realized, I did it for me and my family. So we could be happy. And if they really do love me like they’ve said, they’ll want me to be happy and know that having an unhappy team member isn’t really fair to them either.

  12. Jolene says:

    I ADORE this post today Lindsay! I sent it to a friend of mine who needs to break free of this and the ‘guilt prison’ she puts on herself as a result. Thank you for posting! (I do this too, a fair amount but FAR less than I used to, and it is so liberating!!)

  13. GiGi Eats says:

    Oh yes I am! I am a YES YES YES GIRL! Ah ha ha ha ah aha h! Okay, that didn’t sound quite right. But I am a huge people pleaser – however I have definitely learned how to say NO as of late and it has felt pretty great. I have more time to do things for myself!! :) And you know what? You’re right!! People understand and get over it pretty quick;y!

  14. Wendy says:

    The situation dictates what I do. It comes from knowing who I am, what my beliefs are, and taking time to give an answer.

    For me, “yes” or” uh huh” was often the answer when I didn’t understand or take time to check how I felt.

    A friend taught me that many people expect quick responses. She wasn’t about to do it if she wasn’t sure.

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