Managing to say no

One of my aims for this year is to say no more often. I tend to take on too much, worrying what others think or wanting to be as helpful as possible and end up in a mess and feeling resentful because of it.

I’m a typical ISFJ


I had a phone call last night regarding the flowers for a funeral that we are going to in a couple of weeks time. An assumption had been made that we would be getting a floral tribute spelling out the name. I was asked if I could order it and co-ordinate with the other family members, letting them know how much they needed to contribute.

We go on holiday in a couple of days and return the day before the funeral. I know that I want everything sorted before we go away so our flowers were ordered and paid for on Friday. I do not think that I have the time (or energy) to ring round the rest of the family to organise their flowers for them.

As for the flowers themselves, and I apologise if this offends anyone, I cannot stand floral letters at funerals. For many years I’ve told Steven that if I die before him and he allows letters at my funeral I will send curses from heaven. Googling to get this picture has also enlightened and horrified me at the cost of them. Also I was told to get ‘Grandad’ but we never called him grandad. That puzzled me more than anything.



This situation comes back to the resentment that has been building for the last six months. I’m asked to do more and more for the family whilst the rest of the grandchildren remain elusive. In the past when I’ve asked if someone else could help I’m given a list of why their life is busy/complicated/tragic with an assumption that my life is simple and carefree. In total there are seven of us in this specific generation and I seem to be called on to sort the others. All are over the age of 18 and very capable, so why me? My husband is also included in that list. I  frequently have to point out to people outside of the family that I am just an in-law.

So, at the crucial moment last night I managed to say the elusive word – ‘no’.

I politely explained that we’d sorted our flowers and that due to time I could not ring anyone else to help them. I’m not sure how it was received but have decided to not think about that. I know that if I do, the guilt will kick in and I’ll end up going back on my decision. I also refrained from saying how much I hate flowers of that type.

So, I’m sticking firmly to the thought that our flowers are sorted. They will be nicer (and cheaper!) I also know the rest of the family are capable and will sort themselves out without the need for any organisation from me. Our bit is sorted so why lose any sleep over anyone else?