Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Saying “Yes” When You Want to Say “No”

spoon from Korea.jpgThis title may throw some of you since this blog is about self-empowerment, which includes saying “no” to what you don’t want to do. While I encourage you to not do what doesn’t work for you when possible, sometimes saying yes can bring unexpected rewards. I learned that yesterday when I agreed to something I automatically said “no” to first. My reward was 3 sweet little smiles and the utensils in the picture on the left. I’ll explain.


I love to run in Central Park and do it in winter too when possible but lately it hasn’t been. Between frigid temps and ridiculous amounts of snow I haven’t run in many weeks. Today it went into the mid 40’s. While there was some sun early in the day, I had too much work to go out before late afternoon. By then the sky had gotten gray as rain was coming in mid-evening–a great excuse to not go!

But I’d looked forward to getting back into the running groove and pushed myself away from the computer, got on my running clothes and left, thinking I’d probably cut it short since I might not be up to a full run. By the time I reached the park I was glad I went. It felt good to be back running and getting great exercise. I have several routes and chose one that I could cut short if necessary. As I began to run it felt like I hadn’t been away from it. I got into my zone and enjoyed it immensely. Just as I got to the top of an incline 3 kids maybe 11 years old jumped in front of me and asked if they could take a picture with me, in broken English.


Here I was, in my zone, enjoying my first run in weeks. “No” I said without thinking since I didn’t want to stop.

Fortunately something in me reconsidered. They were so excited and explained they were visiting from Korea with their class from school. Their teacher had sent them all on assignments to photograph people of NYC and they wanted to get one with me. I agreed and they all got in close, smiled and one held his camera out and snapped. They all giggled a lot doing it and then thanked me profusely for taking the time to stop and be photographed. Then one went into his bag and presented me with a gift. He said it was to thank me for my time.

There I was in Central Park, with no purse, holding a lovely metal spoon and 2 chopsticks, wrapped in blue tissue paper and a piece of red ribbon. I wish I had a camera to get my own picture of those 3 smiling children, pleased when they saw how happy I was to receive their gift. There are etchings on the 3 pieces and they’re lovely. When they said goodbye, I managed to push the utensils into the pocket of my fleece and continued my run.


I flew along with energy to spare and felt like the gift in my pocket poked me to continue running. It was such a sweet experience.

While it’s good to take care of yourself by not saying yes to what you don’t want too much, sometimes saying yes is just the right answer. These children were adorable, and so grateful that I stopped. Their giggling explanations made me smile. Cutting my run short left my mind. I finished the whole thing in a great mood.

Think before you say no to some situations. While you may know it’s a definite “no” with some people, think about it first with others so you don’t miss out on a special experience or disappoint someone who doesn’t deserve it.

As you become more self-assured, be selective in what you choose. When I first left DoorMatville, I turned everything down and thought that made me more empowered. It didn’t. It made me insensitive to other people and it wasn’t who I wanted to be. As I said “no” in the park, I looked at the faces of those kids and knew I had to stop. Boy, am I glad I did! Consider all requests individually. If you see some good  in saying “yes,” even if you want to say “no,” say “yes.” It can make you feel even more empowered and you never know what rewards it can bring! The more you give to others for good reasons, the more love you give to you!


Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

Please leave comments under my posts so we can stay connected.

  • Shannon

    Thank you for this (and all of the other) strengthening advice. I am just learning to love and take care of myself. I think one of the hardest things in doing so is saying the occassional no to requests of help. In particularly when a distant family members ask for help and it is difficutlt for me to turn them down even when the request is hard for me to work into my schedule. I would rather put myself out and help them trying to gain their respect. I realize that always being there to jump in is not gaining respect for me from them or myself. Now I weigh the request against my desire and time schedule, eventhough I fret about declining (feeling guilty mostly). It does feel good giving myself the power to say no.
    It was incredibly wonderful of you to give the book “How do I love Me” away. It has helped me already so much. Thank you. Shannon

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Sounds like you’re making good progress Shannon. I’m glad that my book has helped you!

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