This I Believe

Angie - Vanceburg, Kentucky
Entered on December 14, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in setting limits and knowing when to say no. It’s always been important to me to be a good person. For me being a good person has always been about doing the right thing and helping others. Then, it occurred to me that we can do too much. Going out of my way for everyone doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m doing the right thing. Pleasing everyone is just not possible.

As a college student and mother of two young children, I stay very busy. Downtime isn’t really an option and I have never been one to turn down friends or family in need of a favor. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings and I felt selfish if I hadn’t taken the time to tend to their requests. It finally came to a point where I had started to feel bitterness and resentment towards the same people that I sought to “help”. I have always felt that a good deed is not a good deed if you loathe and complain about doing it, that you might as well not if you’re going to have that kind of attitude. By the time I was fed up of doing everyone a favor and said no, I did exactly what I had sought out not to do. Not only was I angry, but I was downright mean about it and had hurt someone’s feelings in the process.

In the past, I have missed my own appointments, devoted time I really did not have and put more time and energy into others than myself. While I still advocate helping your fellow man, I have simply learned not to help others to my own detriment. If I would have just said no from the get go when I was becoming overwhelmed with requests, I probably wouldn’t have blown up and would have felt better about the choice that I had made. Instead of learning to grin and bare it, I take a new approach. I simply say no. After all, at the end of the day I am only human.