Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Worst Trait

NoIn The Worst of Me from Classroom as Microcosm, Siobhan Curious asks,

“Which of your character traits is your worst enemy, in your life but especially in your job?”

Now I have many but I wanted to focus on my main one. I have a hard time saying no.

There are many reasons that I have a hard time saying no.

I don’t want to disappoint people. When people ask me to do something, I don’t want to let them down so I agree to do what they ask. Sometimes I really don’t want to do it or I’m afraid that I really don’t understand what I agreed to do. Then I get all stressed out about doing it. Since I am a person who keeps my word, I do it but I’m not happy about doing it.

I like to be needed. I feel flattered when people ask me to do something. I feel that it says they have faith in me and what I can do. It is hard to say no to something like that. But by doing this, I tend to put my needs aside and again, I get all stressed out.

I realize that sometimes I am spreading myself too thin. This keeps me from having time to do the things that I need to do in my own life. When this happens, the things I do may not be done the best that I could do if I had more time. Instead, it gets done adequately and I feel bad about that. That is not the way I like to do things.

I also find myself not having the time to do the things I enjoy. When I feel this way, I also feel like I’m being selfish. When I finally do the things for myself, I feel a little guilty because I could be doing other things for people.

I realize that I need to find a balance. I need to find a way to do things for others but allow myself to do things for me too. I have come up with ways to help myself find this balance. Here is my plan.

1. Before I say yes to anything, I come home and discuss it with my husband. This helps me from impulsively saying yes to everything. He helps me find the balance in my life. Talking it over with someone helps me put things in perspective and I can decide if I really want to do it and if I really have the time and skills to do it to the best of my ability.

2. I have decided to volunteer for no more than 3 things at one time. When I complete one thing, I can add another but no more than 3 at the same time. Keeping to this rule allows me to say no more easily. I can tell people that I would love to help them but I do not want to over commit myself and not do something wholeheartedly because I don’t have the time or energy. I explain that when I finish some of my commitments, I might be able to help in the future and will let them know.

3. For every one thing that I do for someone else, I allow myself to do one thing for myself without feeling guilty about it. I do charity knitting for my church and when I finish one charity knitting, I knit something that isn’t for charity.

What is your worst trait and how do you handle it? Please share!

Image: 'Learn to Say NO on 31 July 2010 - day 212'
Found on


Unknown said...

This is a difficult thing for many educators. We are, for the most part, all built to be helpers. We want to help other people, and that usually means sacrificing what we want to do at the present in order to meet someone else's needs.

loonyhiker said...

@Michelle Wilson Well said! I guess I feel like I'm letting the education field down when I say no because that is what I chose to do.