Tired of Feeling Guilty?

Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 in ALL Posts, Blog, Relationships | 10 comments

Daisy_dropletsTired of Feeling Guilty?

One would think that while living in 2014 with all our technology empowerment and relational knowledge that we would be able to live without that dragging nagging emotion named GUILT.
Guilt rips our insides, causes us to think others are estranged from us, and holds us back from doing what we really want  or really need to do.

Most often these guilt feelings come when we have been asked to do something for or with someone and we don’t want to. When we say no, we feel guilty.

Allow me to offer a different viewpoint however:  
Saying ‘no’ should not cause us guilt.

Saying ‘no’ actually shows respect.

How could this be true?
Well, think about two scenarios:

A)  Think about the last time that you asked someone to do a favor for you, or invited her to join you for an event. The response you received was __________ (emptiness).

Allow yourself to feel those LONG moments when you were waiting for a reply.
Don’t read on yet.  Do you remember that feeling? Do you feel it now?

B)  Now think of another situation when you have made a similar request.
Instead of nothingness, you received a very nice reply that indicated that the person was not able to help or join you at that time. No reason was needed nor given. It doesn’t matter.
The point is: she took a moment to give you a response.

Allow yourself to feel that moment when you heard a ‘no’ but felt respected and
cared for because the person took the time to respond.

Which felt better?

If you’re like me, it always feels better to receive a ‘no’ rather than receiving nothing.


 Well, even if it isn’t in our conscious mind, when we respond to others we acknowledge that person’s presence. We understand the underlying value of our fellow human not only in our personal life, but also in the totality of our shared identity.  Remember when we talked about why identity matters?   Click here for a reminder.

When people say ‘no’ to us, they show us respect by spending time and courage to respond.
Who doesn’t like to be respected?

When you receive a ‘no’ from someone you can then move on to look for your ‘yes’ from someone else.  Hearing no allow us to stop wasting time waiting for the response.
Remember from last week’s post: when we hear ‘no’, what do we say?
Find Out Here!

So don’t be afraid to say ‘no’.  Guilt is an emotion we choose to hold.
Instead, choose to believe the truth that when you say ‘no’ you are demonstrating respect for another person rather than putting them in a position to wait in nothingness or even worse….having to ask again.


Go ahead, say  ‘no’ and show respect!
You’ll feel free and so will the other person.


What are you thoughts? Does hearing ‘no’ help you to feel respected?
Share your response in the comments section.

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  1. What a timely blog! I was talking the other night with some ladies on the importance of saying ‘no’ sometimes. We were on the subject of stress management.
    I totally agree about the need to respond with a yes or a no (thinking also of Matthew 5:37, as Wendy M. mentioned in her reply). It is definitely about respecting the other person, as well as exhibiting the kind of character we want to be known for.
    So, thanks for your blog!

    • Thanks for your input, Carla! Learning to say no and feel great about it has been a process, but I now totally agree with everything you have said. It’s so freeing – and so respectful. … and yes.. a powerful stress reliever.
      Thanks for reminding us about that awesome benefit and for sharing your wisdom and inspiration!
      Have an inspired day!

  2. I agree. Saying no is better than not responding or “maybe”. But even worse is when they say yes because they don’t want to hurt your feelings and then just don’t show up. That I don’t get.

    • ohhhh – that’s so true!!! That hadn’t occurred to me while I was writing. Same concept, right? It’s just much better for us to say no if that is our real answer. Just not showing up doesn’t show respect at all. How would you recommend people respond when this happens and folks don’t show up? Any ideas?
      Thanks for responding and sharing your insight!

  3. When I saw this was your topic I had to go to it right away as it is a timely one for me and I have alot of work to do! Guilt can be downright crippling. I’d like to add some wisdom I’m just gaining from experience and Matthew 5:33-37, loving the Message version now. I’ve always tried to give reasons when I’ve felt I’ve HAD to say no (very much a conflict avoider). However, particularly with a teen…I find to much reason giving simply gives room for exhausting argument or judgement or even resentments! There is a peace in learning how to practice those passages and then LET IT GO! (Can’t wait to see that movie, with Grace).

    • Hi Wendy,
      Thanks for your response. yes…. great advice… sometimes we only need to say no with no reason at all….especially with a teen! 🙂 Thanks for reading and inspiring us!

  4. I saw something on TV about saying no just the other day. I feel guilt when I say no at times but am learning to say no and not feel the guilt. I always say a reason why I have to say no. I respect others are not always able to say yes to me. Avoiding the situation only makes things worse. Say no with respect and be okay with it. Sometimes I will say no but maybe another time I can make it.

    • That’s awesome, Laurie! Thanks for the comment! Maybe our next post should be about receiving a no. 🙂
      Have a wonderfully inspirational day!!

  5. Respectfully, no.
    What an amazing way to view that response. I never thought of it that ay. In fact, I always seem to have trouble saying no to those I care about. I feel as though I am disappointing someone but it makes sense that we all have to say no sometimes and that others must also respect us and our limited time and energy. I will work on saying no kindly and respectfully with my head high this week.

    • Thanks for your response, Paula.
      I agree – somehow we think if we can’t do something we disappoint them. At least for me, however, it’s much more disappointing when someone just doesn’t respond. Then I have no idea how to move forward. So interesting….
      Hope you have a great week of saying lots of yeses and a few nos as needed. Have an inspired week!


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