Give and Take

Does saying no make you selfish?  If your partner asks something of you and your immediate response is no, does that make you a bad partner?  Often I see relationships where one individual feels it is necessary to put the other persons needs before their own and in some cases I think this is the true meaning of unselfish love.  However, I have also seen individuals who do it to the detriment of their own well-being.  If you communicate that you are tired, overworked, stressed out and need a break and your partner continues to ask for help, you hit a crossroads.  How do you solve this dilemma of wanting to help your partner and realizing that you are just spread too thin already?

The truth is, being a people pleaser can cause more harm than good.  Saying yes to everything out of fear of causing conflict or the other person being upset with you is a mistake.  To keep saying yes and going through the motions of doing can cause resentment to build.  Saying yes to something you really do not want to do does not do yourself or the other person any favors.  The fact is, disagreements occur in every relationship and happy couples do tell each other no from time to time.  Learning to deal with negative emotions effectively will actually make your relationships stronger.  Avoidance only makes the problem worse.

Ask yourself what you stand for.  Is saying no to a request mean you are making time for something that is important to you or are you just being selfish?  Only you can answer that question, but please be honest with yourself.  If you are saying no to a request because you are making time for family, work, school or other important priorities and commitments in your life, then I think you can stand strong in your reasons behind the no.  When dealing with a significant other I think it is good to explain why you cannot help.  If your partner is supportive of you having a good career, going back to school or other commitments, they should be understanding.

In the end, balance is key.  If you over-commit you can end up doing a lot of things for people but only in a half-assed manner.  The goal should be to do your absolute best in all commitments you make.  Communicate and stand strong in the way you feel on the subject.  Your well-being should be a priority as well and if you keep pushing yourself to be there for everyone else you could end up sick and useless to everyone.  It really is okay to just say no.

With love, honesty and respect


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