It's amazing that no -- only two letters -- seems to be the hardest word for many of us, especially women, to say out loud. Strangely, it seems easier to say, "Of course, I can!" or "No problem!" or "I'll be glad to!" Even as you agree, you know you don't want to do whatever it is, and furthermore, you simply can't afford to do it.
In order to say no to requests that will negatively affect your finances, you have to re-learn how to say no with the same enthusiasm as the average two-year-old. People-pleasing is a learned behavior. After plenty of spankings and redirections from adults, we finally give in and drop "no" from our vocabulary. Instead, we substitute lots of ways to be agreeable and keep other people happy, even to our own detriment.
You know which of your friends and family members seem to find themselves in sticky situations because of the poor choices they continue to make, and you know who's dealing with an unfortunate circumstance beyond their control. Deep down, you also know which of those people will never get it together. At least they won't as long as you continue to intervene.
We're each blessed with unique gifts, talents and skills we can use to produce financial gain. Those gifts are given to us freely, but it's our responsibility to choose whether or not we'll cultivate and use them. When we don't, we typically suffer unnecessarily, not just in our finances, but emotionally and spiritually, as well. When you continuously rescue people from the consequences of their own behavior, you handicap them. You become an obstacle on the journey to uncovering the God-given gifts that could change their lives and their destinies. In all your efforts to help, you hurt them in a way that will have lasting effects.
Stop looking at it as saying no to their requests. See it as your chance to encourage them to say yes to the bigger blessings for their lives. The same source which sustains you can sustain them, but only if you'll get out of the way.
Follow Patrice C. Washington on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@SeekWisdomPCW