Learning the word “No”

One of my old bosses use to tell me I had a bad case of ‘balloon hand’. Worried it was a terminal disease that would make my hand sweal to uncontrollable sizes I asked what he meant.

And this is not what he meant.

He meant that I am usually the first person to volunteer for a new project, the first one to say yes, the first one to jump onto a speeding train, etc. ‘It’s like a little balloon tied to your hand that just says ‘PICK ME! MEEEEE!’ he told me.

I was a little floored. I mean taking on new projects and volunteering were good things, right? Yes, but not at the cost of running myself raggid. I have an extraordinarily hard time saying no, and a way too easy time jumping into new projects. I’m also easily guilted into something.

But I am realizing this is an issue and am getting better at saying no, but not good enough. I keep adding more and more tasks to my to-do list and that’s cutting into my writing and you know, having a life time.

Now, no this is not a dramatic I’m ending the blog post. I enjoy doing this and I hope maybe some of you enjoy reading my rambilings. I’m writing this because I imagine some of you might have this problem as well. And if you don’t have balloon hands? Well then tell me how to stop my hands from jumping at every volunteer project.

Here are some things that have helped me.

  • Keep track of where your time is going. (I cut out facebook games once I realized 1-2 hours A DAY was going into them)
  • Don’t volunteer for a new responsibility if you are going to be changing your life soon (new job, moving, school, baby, etc.)
  • If you do get overwhelmed, ask for help.
  • Ask for what the time commitment will be BEFORE you say yes.
  • Take a week off of one or two things to get back on top of things if you have to.
Now, I am not perfect with all of this. I will be moving soon and yet I have agreed to start school, a new job and an internship all at once so…. I guess maybe I haven’t learned my lesson.


  1. Carl Said:

    I’ve never heard of a speeing train. ❤

    • Hahaha, nice catch. Fixed now my dear. Speeing is what sound I make as I leap onto a speeDing train so it works.

      • Laura Said:

        Hahahahaha. I didn’t catch that either…

        I have a problem like this. It’s like I’m uncomfortable with down time…I can barely sleep sometimes thinking of all the random sh*t I could be doing instead :/

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