I am really bad at saying no.
Scratch that, I'm really good at saying no. I say no all the time. I don't let anyone push me into doing anything I don't want to do.
However, at the same time, I feel totally racked with guilt with each no that I give. Even when I feel totally justified.
For example, a couple of years ago, there was a hurricane in town. Naturally, I came to work. The hurricane wasn't supposed to hit real bad till the afternoon and I figured I could be out of work by then no problem because my census was light. Then on my way to work, I got a text from a fellow consultant asking if I could help out with consults on her floor because she had a ton of them, and wanted to leave early enough not to get whisked into the hurricane on the way home.
I said no. I mean, I didn't say an absolute no. I said that she should leave when she felt it was safe to leave, and I'd help her with the consults when the hurricane was over. These were non-urgent consults, after all, and a state of emergency had been declared. I didn't feel like I should have to stay later and risk my own life just to get through some paperwork.
The other consultant never gave me a hard time about it, and she got home safely. But I felt really guilty over my no. I could have done a consult or two for her and probably still been able to leave safely before the hurricane, especially since I didn't live that far from work. I felt like I wasn't a team player, that I wasn't available to help my fellow employee. (For the record, I did follow through do some of those consults for her AFTER the hurricane was over.)
Guilt is kind of a pointless emotion. I wish I could keep from feeling guilty whenever I say no. And a lot of other times too.