Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Telling the Truth Tuesday

Do you ever agree to do something, then wish you hadn't? This could be akin to learning to say no, but it has a different feel to it. Saying no right away means you are very clear this is not something you want to do. There is no doubt, or even if you do have mixed feelings, saying no is still the right thing to do.

But what about when you've committed, either to yourself or to someone else. Let's say you agree to help a friend move. You set aside a few hours, or a day--whatever. Then, in the midst of everything, you find your energy lagging, or your mind is on the ten million other things on your to do list. You might even get cranky. Or you promise yourself you are going to exercise no matter what, but the day flies by and you do all sorts of other things on your to-do list and exercise doesn't happen. What are you to do?

This happened to me this weekend. I think, with hindsight, I over-committed myself by giving both Saturday and Sunday. My hubby and I were in the midst of figuring out computer issues in our household--whether to purchase a new one, get the old one fixed, etc. Then we had software problems, trying to download software from a computer with Windows XP onto a computer with Windows Vista, ay yay yay. We couldn't complete one thing without having to leave to help our friend. By the time we got home, we were tired and cranky. By 9:00 pm, we had the software issue resolved.

The whole episode got me thinking about commitments and when it is okay to break them and when it is important to honor them. I have always been someone who tries to do what she says she's going to do when I said I would do it. And that makes me feel good about me. But as I get older, I'm beginning to think it's okay to say, ya know, I said I'd so such and such, but I don't really think I can. I'm sorry.

How do you all handle commitments and over-booking yourselves?



L. Diane Wolfe said...

My husband says he's going to write a book - Why Christians Can't Say No! He's always dealing with people at our church who volunteer and then either complain or do a poor job. He says if you're just gonna whine the whole time, just say no!
When you've committed, you need to follow through. However, as with any act of giving, if it's not done with the right spirit, it's no good, either. I'd say gracefully backing out is preferable.

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh, this post really speaks to me. I can NOT say no when asked something face to face or by phone. I always follow through with my commitments, but it stresses me out completely.

Now I'm trying a new tactic--saying, "Let me call you back on that." This gives me time to really consider if I can effectively do something or not. If I can't, I'm going to say no.

I've gotta try something different, because my commitments are killing me!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Helen Ginger said...

Like you, in the past, if I said I'd do something, I did it. Even if it meant sacrificing something else. I'm learning, though, to say no. I started with telephone solicitors. I listen to their spiel and then say "no." Nothing else, just "no." They ask another question and I say "no." (I'm more polite with friends or organizations I belong to, of course.)

Straight From Hel

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I make it a point of pride to do what I say. One of my hot buttons is folks who say they’ll do X and never do.

Now, I understand the times when life intervenes and, well, it’s just not possible to do what you said. That’s fine. But, even then, I have to ask the person I promised if they’ll release me from my pledge. Never had a person say no to that.

More to the point, I’m talking contractors or service people who’ve said, we’ll be there, or we’ll mail that out today, or, I’ll call you back…then, don’t. Makes me pretty annoyed. Maybe I’m just a Neanderthal. No, no maybe about it. But, that’s me.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Marvin D Wilson said...

Good subject and I appreciated your thoughts on it. One has to learn one's legitimate limits and capacity and know when it is the prudent thing to say "no." Easier said than done sometimes, though.

The Old Silly

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I am better about saying "No," but I still manage to commit myself to things I really don’t want to do. Once committed, though, I won’t back out.

Ritergal said...

This is always a dilemma. I'm becoming more focused as the years go by, but the channel keeps expanding. And time flies faster (or is that my surfing finger flying faster on the click button?) each year. And exposure to new ideas stimulates creativity. And ... My whispers are getting louder. At the risk of becoming isolated, I'm saying "No" more often.

N A Sharpe said...

Ahhhhh...timely post for me. I need to learn to stop over committing myself - a definite problem area. The ones that really annoy me though are when you are trying to help someone out and they keep pushing the envelope to get you to commit to something additional or tighter timeline that really is diffiult with other commitments you have and the one you are doing a favor for is oblivious to anything but what they want.


CKHB said...

Sadly, I think I just try to do everything, and then am a hugely cranky person because I'm exhausted and resentful for having taken on too much. This is obviously not the way to handle things...

(Thanks for visiting my blog!)

ComfortWriter said...

Personally I would rather say and/or hear "no" or "let me get back with you on that" than back out last minute. This is new for me though since I too was the one always saying yes before really considering the request and all it entails.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Learning how to say "no" is so hard for women, isn't it. I'm way old enough to know better, and I still bite off more than I can chew.