What To Do If Your Family Says No To Helping

There is a huge expectation to receive a ‘yes’ when asking for help. The truth is this may not always happen. We’re human and we live with humans who at times may not be able to help or frankly don’t want to help. In either case, there are admirable ways you can handle being told no while still checking off your to-do list.

In this episode of the Routine and Things Podcast, you’ll take away what exactly to do if your family says no to helping.

Word For Word

Ashley Brown  00:00

[Intro] Routines, my absolute favorite word, but you either love them or you hate them. And either way, I strongly believe that routines can be a springboard for improving your home, yourself and your life. I'm Ashley Brown, and this is a routine and things podcast. In each episode we'll dive into a specific routine or point of view that will move you closer to enjoying life more and more each day. Trust me, you're going to want to keep listening, because you're well on your way to getting and staying happy.


Ashley Brown  00:46

Hey, and welcome to the routine and things podcast. And this week we are going to be talking about what to do if your family says no to helping. This is a continuation episode from last week, so if you haven't listened to last week's episode, which was how and when to extra help at home, then go check out that episode. And I give you some tips of how to ask for help and also when it's really important for you to ask for help. But this is a continuation because when I spoke last week about how to ask for help, I said in the episode, that is important for you not to have expectations when you're asking for help, because that can lead to frustration, or it can lead to you not getting the response that you thought you would get. And so that's why I wanted to continue this week, and talk about what to do if your family says no to helping because they do have the right to say no, they are humans, and they are beings within themselves with minds and all of that. And that's your children, your partners and your family. So what to do if your family says no to helping.


Ashley Brown  01:59

Alright, so let's get into this topic, because I feel like this topic isn't usually highlighted. I feel like it's not talked about much, but I know it happens. If you haven't had this happen to you yet if your children haven't said no to you asking them for help or if your spouse or partner or people that you live with in your your family, haven't said no to you that are within your home or just in general, then the day probably will come. Right, the day probably will come. And so I want to give you some information, just some insight into what you can do, if this does occur, because I want you to be prepared for this. I feel like, like I said before, that we have this expectation, sometimes if we ask for help, we're going to get it. Like the person is going to say yes, I can but yes, I'll do it. But sometimes it's not the case. Sometimes you don't get a yes. Sometimes you may get a no, you may get a not right now. Right and we have tomorrow how to do deal with that, how to manage that. And this is where like fear of rejection comes in. And I feel like where some people, and I feel like where some of us don't really ask for help, because we may have gotten rejected before and so we just stop asking for help. Because maybe we've gotten rejected or maybe we've gotten told no on several occasions, and then some of us will just say, okay, I'm not asking for help anymore. I don't think this is really the best approach, because that can become very stressful to you. And I don't want you being stressed. And so if this has occurred more often than you would like, I hope that what I share here today might help you in starting to ask for help again, because it's important that you get the help that you need.


Ashley Brown  03:48

So I talked about this because I've definitely experienced this like, one I've been told no to help, and two  I've been the person that has said no to helping. I'm going to share with you those stories. I'm gonna share with you both stories. So the first story that comes to mind is when ,it says on my mind, because one day I went to my husband, I was like, I really just need for you to do this today and I tolf him specifically what I needed to do, I can't recall now, but I asked him for something, like I need for you to do this around the house. And he was like, I really can't do it. And I just looked like, What? I was like, What are you talking about, you can't do it? Right, like, but what he said to me was he legitly was like, I really can't do it. Like I'm not. I'm not up to it. Like I don't feel the best. And I was like, oh okay, and so then I just felt like, dang, like he just said no, although I could understand like he did not have the capacity to help me. And it was so interesting, because on another occasion after that, I remember him asking me for help. And I legitely said the same thing,  like I really don't have the capacity to do it today, Like I can't do that today. I can't do that right now and I can't do it today. I could probably get to it tomorrow. I could probably get to it the next day after that, but today I can't. And I just wanted to share with you because it's important to realize that sometimes people just might not have the capacity. But I'm gonna get more into that in a little bit.


Ashley Brown  05:14

But let's go ahead and dive into, what do we do, If our family says no to helping? What are you going to do if your family says no to helping? What can you do? First, I want you to not make assumptions. Like if you ask for help, a say you're like, oh, can you wash the dishes for me? And the person says, No, don't start making assumptions about why they said no. Don't start concocting a story or creating a story in your head. Why they said no to you. Do not make assumptions because it's going to lead you down a path that you probably don't want to go down. You want to ask why. If the person says no, they can't help you with the dishes. You want to ask,  well why, you know, what's going on? Why you might not be able to help me. And this doesn't mean that you will feel better, once you hear their response to the question of asking them why. Okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna put that out there. They may tell you why and you still might be looking like, Huh? That doesn't mean you're going to feel better because you asked them why, but at least we have more of an understanding from their perspective, which is important to have. Right? We want to be compassionate individuals. And we also want to be able to hear people out like we don't want to make somebody feel like their thoughts are not valued or how they feel doesn't matter.  Just ask why, asking why.


Ashley Brown  06:47

And if they have a valid reason why and validity is very tricky, right? Like some of us might be like that was a valid point. And then sometimes you might be like, I don't know about that. But first, we want to trust that they're telling the truth, right? And if they have a valid reason, if it's valid to you, if it's not valid, then maybe they can expound some more in order for you to understand where they're coming from. And you can ask for more details about what's going on. But if it seems valid to you, right, why they said no, then the next step is to accept it, and to plan accordingly. Like if they're not able to wash dishes and help you wash the dishes. And they say no, because I really just don't feel my best I have a stomach ache or I have a headache or I'm just I'm really not feeling up to it because of that. Then accept it. Accept that they can't do the dishes and plan accordingly. So maybe it's like, y'all both don't feel great. So then the dishes might need to stay in there. Right or the dishes might be able to be put in the dishwasher for the night. I'm a handwasher, so a lot of times, I'm gonna hand wash my stuff, but like, oh, trust me, our dishwasher has been used throughout both my pregnancies. When I'm not feeling up to it, my husband, I don't feel like either, it will go in a dishwasher. So, plan accordingly,  but except their reasoning as to why they can't help.


Ashley Brown  08:10

And like I was saying before, sometimes our family may not have the capacity to help, like, they just might not. And that's okay. If they don't have the capacity to help,  what are they going to do,  like, they're not going to stress themselves out because we don't want them doing that, right. We don't want our family stressing themselves out. Because we are already stressed and we need help or because we're trying to prevent ourselves from becoming stressed. Like sometimes we are not going to have the capacity to help. And sometimes our family is not going to have the capacity to help. So we want to make sure that we are being compassionate and that we understand that that might be the case from time to time. Also, if your family says no, and they have a valid reason why I will also say to prioritize what's important. So like I said, maybe they can't wash the dishes, but you can put it into the dishwasher because it is important to get done to you. So maybe to just ease your load just a little bit, then to just put them in a dishwasher, that could be something. So just prioritizing what's important. And you might have asked them to do a range of things and they're not able to do it. So you really sometimes have to choose what's really important at this moment, choose like one thing. And then you just do that one thing, at least it brings you some sense of peace or some sense of ease, and take something off your plate. So prioritizing is really important. If your family member does say no, if your family says no to helping, prioritizing what's important. That's really vital. Right? And also give yourself grace. Like if your family says no, and they don't have the capacity and you don't either. Give yourself grace. Maybe it can't be done today. Don't try to force something to fit, right like don't try to put a triangle block into a square shape like don't, hopefully that made sense. Don't try to do that. Right? Like, give yourself grace. It's okay.


Ashley Brown  10:05

And also another thing is to come to a compromise. So maybe today, your family member doesn't have the capacity, but maybe you can ask,  oh, well, tomorrow, can you do it? Like if you're feeling better or if you're feeling up to it tomorrow, do you think you'll be able to do it? And see what their response is because more than likely, they're gonna probably be like, yes. You know, yes, I can help tomorrow, I can help whenever I feel better, like, you do want to come to a compromise. And also sometimes that compromise might be that maybe we don't have the capacity to do a task on our own, or they don't have the capacity to do it on their own. But maybe if we work together, we can do this together. Maybe you too, might not be in the best mood. You had a stressful day at work. Or maybe you're like, okay, let's just get in here. Let's  fix us a glass of wine or let's like, let's like put on some good vibing music and let's get in here together and do the dishes together. So it's all about compromising as well. So just want to throw that out to you.


Ashley Brown  11:04

And so next we want to talk about what if they don't have a valid reason as to why they're not helping. So this could be for many reasons, a few that comes to mind is like, maybe they're just being selfish. Maybe it's selfish behavior. Maybe they haven't prioritized well, so they think that something is more important than what you're asking them to do. And you're just like, this is not a valid reason why you're not helping me right now. Like, I'm really asking for you to help and that's not gonna cut it,  what you just said. The first thing I would say is to explicitly express how it makes you feel, and how them saying no to helping you isn't causing you to feel. I do want you to take a breath before you actually start talking because we want to make sure that we are, I'm speaking to myself too, take a deep breath because we don't want to speak out of frustration or anger. So take a deep breath and then just tell them how it makes you feel that  they're not helping at that point in time. Yeah, so explicitly express how it makes you feel, that they're not helping because maybe it might help them to prioritize better or to shift their perspective in order to help you, so I would say just express how you're feeling.


Ashley Brown  12:23

And then if they still say no, one, if they're your child and it's your children, that are saying no, then there might be some consequences that need to be put in place. And that can be natural consequences. Natural consequences could be where you didn't clean up your toys  and they mistakenly left their favorite stuffed animal downstairs because they said no, they weren't cleaning up. And now they're in bed and they're like, where's my toy? You left it downstairs, that's a consequence of you not, you know, not cleaning up. That's a natural consequence. But maybe you might need to have like, enforce a consequence. So maybe tomorrow, you can't be on the iPad or you can't watch your favorite show tomorrow because you didn't help mommy, when mommy asked you to help clean up. So I would say that for kids, and I feel like kids are a little bit easier when it comes to kids saying no to helping.


Ashley Brown  13:15

But lets say it's your partner or it's another adult that you're living with? And they're just like, No, I'm still not helping, even after you've expressed how it makes you feel, with them not really having a valid reason what just miss prioritize or whatever the case may be. I don't even know if miss prioritizing is a word, but anyway. I would say if this is the case, you want to just focus on what you can do. Like you have to one, like just take a deep breath and just let it go. They said no, they said no. What can you do put the focus back on you don't even worry about them. And that's easier said than done. Trust me. I haven't always taken that route. So it's easier said than done. But if you can just put the focus on you and just ask yourself, well, what can I do right now because the person is not going to help me and I help? So what can I do right now? You might just have to chip away at whatever it is that you need to accomplish, little by little. And that's okay too. As long as it gets done, it might not get done in the time frame that you want to get done. But you don't want to stress yourself out even more by trying to accomplish something that you really don't have the capacity to do all at once, if that makes any sense. So I would say focus on what you can do. And if you can't do it, or like I said, don't try little by little. That's why I think routines are super important because if you need help, a lot of the times your help might be within your routine. And so maybe the help you need is is within your routine. And so routines can help kind of just keep things up and running smoothly in your home, so that when you don't get help it's okay. Because your routines have still been flowing and you've still been doing your routines and you still are able to manage your home to a certain extent without needing that help. So that's why I always speak about routines because I'm telling you like they are your saving grace.


Ashley Brown  15:17

Now if you are feeling like and let me just speak about this too because this is real like this is real life like this is not play play like this is real life where motherhood where a lot of times we have partners, we have family members that live with us and maybe you are running across that the person just constantly does not want to help. If this is your situation, outside of your children that your partner or that the person that is living with you or people that's living with you like legitly do not want to help. I think one, you have to have a conversation with yourself and you have to really get clear on if this is a suitable situation for you to not be receiving help because, and this is like a whole nother conversation, but I just want to put it out there that you might just have to have a conversation with yourself. Have a come to Jesus with yourself and pray to God. And to really evaluate if this situation is the best, the fact that you're not getting help, when you need it and you're not getting help on a consistent basis. So just throwing that out there just because this is real life and everything isn't roses and sunflowers. So that's just something that I wanted to mention.


Ashley Brown  16:33

But yeah, those are the tips. Those are some ways that you can help manage if your family says no to helping because it probably will come a time that your family member does say no to helping. I want you to have some resources in your back pocket, just in case that time comes. I really hope that this benefited you today. I hope you got something out of it. What have you done in the past, when your family members said no to helping? If you have experienced this, what did you do and do you think you would change anything based upon this episode? Also before you head out, please make sure that you subscribe, rate, and review the podcast. Really appreciate it. Also share this with someone. If you feel like you know someone that has been struggling with this or you've come across someone that was speaking about this, share this with them, this episode, and let them know that this is here if they need it. But until next time, please make sure that you are enjoying wherever you are, whatever you're doing, soak it all in. Love on you. Keep at your routines. And I'll be talking to you later girl.


Ashley Brown  17:47

[Outro] Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed today's episode, could you do me a huge favor and take a screenshot and share it on social. And for more routine goodness, be sure to visit routineandthings.com. Here's to staying happy!

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